Cramer Remix: What needs to happen to avert a slowdown in 2019

Investing

Now that the Federal Reserve has become slightly less hawkish on its interest rate plans, there’s one final issue that could hinder U.S. economic growth in 2019, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said: China.

“Remember, if we’re going to avert a slowdown next year, we need the president to make some kind of deal with the Chinese, and I don’t think we’ll get one. That’s the problem here, at least for stocks,” the “Mad Money” host said ahead of the G-20 summit, where President Donald Trump is supposed to meet with China President Xi Jinping to talk trade.

Ahead of what Cramer believes will be a no-deal result, he suggested investors that haven’t bought into stock yet shouldn’t buy until Monday. Those who have may want to “do some trimming” on Friday, “especially of your weaker stocks,” he advised.

“The important thing, though, is that you brace yourself for some weaker data, the data that caused the Fed to recalibrate, pulling back from its earlier plan for an aggressive series of lockstep rate hikes,” he said. “There’s no ticking time bomb. However, there is a degree of risk that makes me uncomfortable going into this weekend, even as we no longer need to fear the Fed as much as we did 48 hours ago.”

Cramer also made some suggestions for investors who want to hedge against the risk of U.S.-China trade talks going south.

While reports have suggested that Trump will seek a truce at the Buenos Aires, Argentina gathering, Cramer thought he might use more of a stick-and-carrot approach, keeping with his plan of raising the existing 10-percent tariffs on Chinese imports to 25 percent at year-end, then offering a “carrot” by holding off on an additional round of duties.

“When we come in on Monday, you need to be ready in case President Trump spends the whole night back from Argentina tweeting about how his best friend … President Xi forced him to ignite the 25-percent tariff fuse,” Cramer said. “If he does, you’re going to get a down market.”

So, ahead of the summit, “you need stocks with built-in catalysts, the stocks of companies that are willing to reinvent themselves into something the market likes more than their current form,” Cramer said as the major averages traded higher.

Click here for his suggestions.

Global retailer PVH, parent to the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, will have no choice but to raise prices if the Trump administration places 25-percent tariffs on the products it makes in China, Chairman and CEO Manny Chirico told CNBC on Thursday.

“The unfortunate thing about it is who’s going to be hurt by this is the consumer,” Chirico told Cramer in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview. “We have to raise prices to make up for a 25-percent tariff.”

U.S. trade authorities have placed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. Tariffs on the majority of those goods are set to rise to 25 percent at the end of 2018. The move has set off a backlash from retailers.

While PVH’s apparel products aren’t drastically affected by the initial round of tariffs, additional duties that President Donald Trump has been threatening to place on Chinese imports could hurt the company, Chirico said.

Click here to watch and read more about his interview.

Privately-held financial company SoFi isn’t one of the non-bank lenders Fed Chairman Jerome Powell called out as potential risks to the U.S. economy in his Wednesday speech, SoFi chief Anthony Noto told CNBC on Thursday.

“We have really strong risk controls,” the CEO told Cramer in an exclusive interview on “Mad Money.” “We take it very seriously.”

Noto, formerly the chief operating officer of Twitter, said that when he joined SoFi — a CNBC Disruptor 50 company whose name stands for “Social Finance” — “the No. 1 priority was making sure that we focused on quality of loans over quantity of loans.”

Knowing that the Fed would soon start raising interest rates in earnest, Noto knew that his millennial-facing company would have to adjust to ensure that the loans it made were secure and appropriately backed.

Click here to watch and read more about Noto’s interview.

Dollar Tree President and CEO Gary Philbin sees “an inflection point” on the horizon for his company despite some minor tariff-related headwinds, he told Cramer in an exclusive interview.

The discount retailer, which acquired counterpart Family Dollar four years ago, has been hard at work renovating Family Dollar’s stores, an effort that has boosted profits and led management to accelerate the renovation schedule.

“It’s just a sheer equation of arithmetic at this point,” Philbin said on “Mad Money.” “I do see it being a multi-year trajectory to really get to an inflection point.”

Dollar Tree is also taking measures to avoid pitfalls related to the Trump administration’s tariffs, the CEO said. Forty percent of Dollar Tree’s merchandise comes from Asia, but nearly 50 percent is domestically sourced, he added.

“People forget that sometimes,” he said. “We’ve worked real hard on the tariff piece knowing that 10 percent’s in place. We’re expecting 25 percent to come beginning of January. And credit to our merchants who have worked around us.”

Click here to watch his full interview.

In Cramer’s lightning round, he flew through his responses to callers’ stock questions:

The Home Depot Inc.: “Home Depot is down a lot. I have no catalyst. There are other retailers that are doing better. I think Costco’s doing better than Home Depot. I think that Lowe’s has a turnaround story for [CEO] Marvin Ellison. But anybody who buys Home Depot and puts it away for the next 18 months, I think, is going to do quite well.”

Nielsen Holdings PLC: “I can’t recommend a stock that I wouldn’t buy on fundamentals just on a takeover [basis]. I know they’re getting some bid interest. I think the stock is probably a little too high here. I’m going to say no.”

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