CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Monday that Wall Street isn’t responding to debt ceiling stress in the way you might think — in fact, many buyers seem unbothered as chaos reigns in Washington.
“Is it possible the whole debt ceiling standoff is meaningless?” Cramer asked, calling Monday’s market resilience bizarre. “That’s certainly what the market’s saying.”
He pointed to the way some companies that reported terrible quarters — especially ones related to cybersecurity — had their stocks go up Monday, while classic growth stocks that usually soar amid debt default fears — like PepsiCo, General Mills, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble — were hurting.
“These have had huge runs for months on fears that the [Federal Reserve] is going to throw us into a recession,” Cramer said. “But they are being annihilated as if the market is going to take a debt default in stride.”
Cramer added that it seems unlikely PepsiCo stock would drop by $5 a share unless “Wall Street thinks the economy’s about to roar.” Ultimately, investors need to ask themselves what industries would truly be affected by a government default, he said, mentioning an admittedly eclectic group of stocks like real estate, utilities, heavy machinery and other entities that rely on borrowing.
“There are so many permutations of securities that interact with U.S. Treasurys that all the pricing mechanisms and all the institutions that need those coupons will find themselves in a real jam,” Cramer said. “But it’s a jam that can get sorted out.”