Repositioning may not be necessary on Syria news

Sorry to be so prosaic about this, but as long oil's not shooting through the roof, investors need to take very little action.

By Jim Cramer Aug 27, 2013 9:57AM

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Weird, but it sure would make sense to see oil moving up here on the Syria news. If you get geopolitical strife that involves oil-related countries, there has to be a reason the oil futures aren't going through the roof, and why only gold is running up.

Perhaps it means it's just not as big a deal as the stock futures indicate. Errant military action in a region known for errant military action could hurt the industrials, which have been faring better of late with better Europe and China news. The conflict in Syria will be viewed as one more event that slows growth. But it certainly is not going to bring down Bristol-Myers (BMY), the putative everyman non-cyclical name. That's why today would seem to be a buy day, not a sell day -- because the oil futures aren't ramping. In fact, I might even want to sell gold, which has rallied for a while and is enjoying its seasonal breakout.

As is usual with geopolitical matters, there will be plenty of funds that sell first and then hope that others sell second and maybe even third, so that those first sellers will be able to get their short positions in. As usual, this hasn't been a great strategy: The slower sellers don't take the market down enough and the tertiary sellers turn out to be buyers anyway, because they don't have enough exposure.

Arrows © Image Source Black, GettyStill, if it is for real -- meaning it will eventually spike oil -- then this is a Chevron (CVX)-Schlumberger (SLB) deal. Or, if you want to get all domestic about it, it's a day for Anadarko (APC), EOG Resources (EOG) and Halliburton (HAL), with the latter acting so well that you'll have to think that something's going on.

But let's play it out. Let's say the U.S. sends cruise missiles in to kill Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They fail because Assad didn't just fall off a turnip truck. Then Russia warns the U.S., and the U.S. says this could lead to a global conflict. Then gold spikes some more, and then we get some sort of resolution, bloody or not -- and then gold comes down, and the advance continues after a 5% drop. That's unless, of course, we get a flight to safety toward U.S. Treasury bonds, and then it is just a 2%-to-3% drop and then some end-of-the-month markup.

Perhaps if it doesn't resolve itself by then, we'll get some Friday selling, prepping for a long weekend -- and then we are just playing for the employment number at the end of the week.

I guess I just, once again, default to a Bristol-Myers scenario, except this time Bristol looks real good cause it's down.

Also, I think it might be tempting to take some AGCO (AGCO) or Deere (DE) or Monsanto (MON) on any overall market weakness. Those stocks have come down too much vs. the commodity prices that seem to be trying to rally.

If you think there's going to be something more to it, allocate some money to S&P 500 ($INX) puts. Take down some insurance. But I just don't think you need to reposition your portfolio on this. That's something I might be tempted to suggest if oil were running to $110 per barrel, because that would mean that gasoline would take out its highs.

Sorry to be so prosaic but, in the end, the market is nothing if not prosaic when it comes to geopolitical strife. This time should be no different.





Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and has no positions in stocks mentioned.



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Aug 27, 2013 10:53AM

Syria may or may not be much of an issue but the cost sure will be.  Guns or butter? The rich want guns the poor want butter.  How many Americans at this point even give a hoot about the issues in that region.  If the present administration was so worried why did they destabilize the entire region to begin with?  Seems the disconnect with the politicos and citizens is becoming wider and wider.  I think we all know the obvious.  This as well as nearly every administration seem to start a war to take the place of problems on the home front.  We need to take care of our own and get back to being the shining light which gives others hope throughout the world. JMHO






Aug 27, 2013 12:02PM
Remember Rwanda,  that civil war where the people and children were  hacked to death. Wasn't it 300,000? Seems we have a strange way of picking out who to help. Maybe we should stay home. We will never have peace in the Arab world and our foundation is cracking and washing away. 
 We do not need any of the oil over there, we are exporting more than we have ever exported.
Europe needs the oil, but hey we and Canada can sell it to them. The two muslim sects have never gotten along so it will be-- forever...-
Aug 27, 2013 11:01AM
How could they even know who to fight over there?
Aug 27, 2013 10:33AM
To President Obama: You want a war to deflect the debt ceiling fiasco.  Give the Nobel Peace Prize back! 
Aug 27, 2013 11:00AM

Aug 27, 2013 11:40AM
Same old garbage's not our business. US defence should begin and end at our shores. 

$6 trillion in Iraq ......we are involved in all this sh*t  at the behest of a foreign power and the defence manufacturers.

Bring our troops home to rebuild OUR infrastructure.

If we made a draft mandatory BEFORE declaring any war this sh*t would end in a heartbeat.
Aug 27, 2013 11:11AM
Aug 27, 2013 11:46AM
In other words, please stay calm while Cramer sells his stocks.
Aug 27, 2013 1:16PM
Ya the thing about Syria is currently Hezbola and Al-qida (Spelling them wrong purposely as I don't give either one of them enough respect to look up the proper spelling) are killing each other, Hez on the government side and Al-q on the rebels side..... so what's the problem?  Let the terrorists kill each other instead of us.  It sucks for the civilians, maybe try to help them get out of the way but let the terrorists go at it!!!!  
Look at Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Iran etc....
Every damn time the USA gets involved it backfires and Americans die and worse yet the people you try to help chant for your death.  The Arabs want you out of the middle east, so fine here you go, have fun, you get your wish.
As far as Israel.... you guys picked the absolute worse spot on Earth to have your country, figure it out your damn selves.
Aug 27, 2013 10:02AM
another war.  when was the last time we had a series of reasonable peace? 
Aug 27, 2013 1:01PM
how come ALL these gods and religions suppress women and love killing? 
Aug 27, 2013 12:49PM
Hopefully obo is smart enough to stay out... nope.
Aug 27, 2013 12:58PM
a new site to test our bombs......problem is we can't afford the bombs
Aug 27, 2013 11:57AM
Manipulators in complete control all morning, actually we are surprised we are down only 100 points, no doubt they will accelerate this afternoon....Best place to be is on the sidelines while these scumbags get their rocks off....Be very cautious this afternoon....More later.
Aug 27, 2013 11:56AM
Hmmm. Cramer says Syria situation no cause for alarm?  Now I AM worried......
Aug 27, 2013 2:16PM
Fat Cat the only demented idiot in this forum is you ! (FYB)
Aug 27, 2013 2:08PM

i am not so sure that this is just another flash in the pan situation Mr. Cramer.  it would appear to me that we are looking at a tremendous flash point that could ignite at any moment.  you have taken a broad stroke approach to a situation that has Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Shiite and Alawites on one side and the EU, UK, USA and Israel on the other.


Syria and Iran said they would attack Israel if we the USA hit them in any manner.  what do you think Israel's reaction to that will be?  what will happen if that escalates and we have a protection treaty with Israel which becomes in effect...what will that mean?  Certainly Germany will be protecting Israel if you read anything about what their leadership has been saying......what if Russia decides they will militarily get involved...they have put in and maintain a large vested interest in Syria.


This is anything but a simple quagmire this is a giant problem that could ignite into a massive war...there are no easy answers as the last 3 years have shown..

Aug 27, 2013 10:33AM

War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing EXCEPT government contracts, suppression of the Debt Ceiling issue, bypass of Congress and a phony propaganda machine that makes the rich richer and a bunch of suppressed compressed recession depression young adults... dead. The only war we should be engaging in tears down glass ceilings, Internet control and manipulation and the Federal Reserve's steerage through banks that cannot stand on their own ORGANIC profits to survive.


I hereby vote that Jim Cramer go first and take ex-Republican Regal Man whoever the shill is... with him. If it's NO BIG DEAL... BE THERE FIRST.

Aug 27, 2013 11:12AM
the fat cats( big business)   are just usin it to reap profits once again ,,they herded the population of the  working people of this country into the "safe" 401 k's only to take away there retirements little by little use to call it thievery in says of lore
Aug 27, 2013 2:09PM
Mr Cramer please ask your TV colleagues to  acknowledge some of the excellent posts here .. the people of America are speaking.   Not one supports Obama's Syria decision!!! (or you can mention it)
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