Will megastorm be another earnings excuse?
Hurricane Sandy could become one more caveat, one more 'lost day' that couldn't be made up that shouldn't matter at all.
I have to presume this shutdown now comes under the category of "We would have made X if it weren't for the hurricane." We will then be suspicious of what business was really missed, especially in an online world. where people can shop on the Internet and make decisions about business that don't require them to leave their homes.
I mention this caveat only because these quarters that are just being reported are all about caveating. What would have happened if the euro had gone higher. What would have been the case if September were colder. What might have been the number if we weren't worried about the fiscal cliff. The economic turmoil in Europe cost us X.
Why is this so important? Simply because if business were really good, we wouldn't know the difference. We would just be saying, "Of course, sure, wow, that number would have been terrific."
But without government support -- not just for small business but for business itself -- we are caught here just twiddling our thumbs. The storm becomes one more caveat, one more "lost day" that couldn't be made up that shouldn't matter at all. It just makes things bleaker.
And bleak they are. The binary world we find ourselves in is who is doing badly right now and who is about to do badly. No one is thought to be doing well, except those companies that do a lot of business in China, because the perception that's becoming clear there is that the government simply overtightened and that policy has been turned over.
Of course, the companies you buy because of China are now suffering from weakness in the United States, and they are going to lose valuable days because of the storm, not just because of the fiscal cliff or the election, for that matter.
So we are all about alibis and alibis that don't hold up as we wait for everyone to disappoint, even the companies that aren't about to.
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.
More from TheStreet.com
CUT TO THE CHASE CRAMER. IF YOU ARE SUPPORTING MITT ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS BLOG.
IF YOU GUYS THINK CRAMER IS REPUBLICAN, VOTE THUMBS DOWN. WHY? BECAUSE I AM ASTOUNDED THAT CRAMER WOULD SUPPORT SOMEONE WITH NO PLAN WHO LIES SO MUCH.
Here's the transcript from the Letterman show, with Maddow;
“DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST: "Here’s what upset me last night, this playing fast and loose with facts. And the President Obama cites the op-ed piece that Romney wrote about Detroit, “Let them go bankrupt, let them go bankrupt,” and last night he brings it up again. “Oh, no, Governor, you said let them go bankrupt, blah blah blah, let them go bankrupt.” And Mitt said, “No, no, check the thing, check the thing, check the thing.”
"Now, I don’t care whether you’re Republican or Democrat, you want your president to be telling the truth; you want the contender to be lying. And so what we found out today or soon thereafter that, in fact, the President Obama was not telling the truth about what was excerpted from that op-ed piece. I felt discouraged."
RACHEL MADDOW: Because the “Let Detroit go bankrupt” headline you feel like was inappropriate?
LETTERMAN: Well, the fact the President is invoking it and swearing that he was right and that Romney was wrong and I thought, well, he’s the president of course he’s right. Well, it turned out no, he was taking liberties with that.”
OK, Cramer appears to be saying the governments of Europe and the U.S. are not doing anything to help small business. Usually, being Jewish and working on Wall Street means you are a Republican. Is this Cramer's spineless way of endorsing Romney without really just being a man and coming out of the closet and saying he endorses Romney? Reason being, Romney is going to lose. So, why expose yourself as a right-wing sympathizer unless you really have to. C'mon, Cramer, tell the truth about this. Who are you voting for? I want to know because I want to know your reasoning because if you say you aren't voting for Obama because he has done nothing to help small business then I think you are crazy. Taxes are low, interest rates for borrowing are very very low and the Small business S-Fund enjoyed by the federal employees Thrift Savings Plan is higher than the C-Fund or I-Fund which track blue chips. In short, tell the truth, because your comments are a lie. I go to Europe every year. In Barcelona alone, the second best economy in the world for small business, there were 20 McDonald's five years ago operating two shifts. Now, they have 36 McDonald's running all three shifts. Every American fast food restaurant we have is in Barcelona: Dunkin' Donuts, Papa John's, Domino's, KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Burger King, etc... What are you talking about there's no support? It takes tourism and local interest to support a service industry economy. The biggest problem for Europe is high airfare prices caused by Bush paying bribes to murdering dictators and causing Arab Spring. Also, poorly managed airlines. We need the government to get back into the airline business. Deregulation in Europe and America has resulted in horrible flying conditions: poor food or no food choices, sardine can seating, old planes, old stewardesses with bad attitudes, drunk pilots and horrible prices. Who do you support, Cramer?
If you think Cramer is dancing around the issue with this article, please Thumbs up.
I think business has been government stimulated to death. The leaders of these companies don't have to be good at what they do because they have been on the government dole too long and have become so complacent it's unbelievable.
I personally wish everything would collapse so we could find our center again. At least at ground zero we will know we are at zero and not some bull-shut island of make believe.
ROLL TIDE ROLL !!!!
Excuses do not change the fact that a company's bottom line is what it is.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.