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.

By Jim Cramer Oct 29, 2012 9:05AM

TheStreet logoDigital Vision Ltd., SuperStockAre we looking at another asterisked quarter?


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 can already hear RadioShack (RSH) say the hurricane hurt business and Best Buy (BBY) saying it was just beginning to turn around, but . . .


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."

I have spent most of this earnings season simply trying to figure out how bad things really are and how bad they are going to get simply because governments around the world aren't doing much to stimulate growth or are simply delaying strategies that could help business. There seems to be no core business support at any government level in Europe or the United States. In China we are getting some, and in Canada it seems to be the ethos.


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's face 

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

Oct 29, 2012 12:49PM
I seriously doubt that that many, on either side, who will actually read the reports, are yet to make up their minds anyway.
Oct 29, 2012 12:38PM
A Sharp, " Unite our Congress to get things done " The last time Republicans controlled Congress and the White House it was a disaster " Government spending went through the roof, they added TSA, No Child Left Behind, Medicare D, Homeland Security, Two un-funded Wars, $607 billion in added discretionary spending. A 61% increase in spending in just 8 years. I thank God each day that Obama has stopped the spending madness, reducing it from 61% to a projected 8 year 11%, 5 times less than those idiot borrow and spend Republicans. But like a battered wife many believe the Republicans lies, when they say their sorry and it wont happen again, 3 times in a row is enough for me, if you want to get socked in the jaw again go ahead, vote Republican.
Oct 29, 2012 12:30PM

" governments around the world aren't doing much to stimulate growth or are simply delaying strategies that could help business"...


Please  NO MORE government interventions, NO MORE stimulus...it is madness.

And in the second part of your comment you're right, Govmts interference is only delaying things for business while creates a mortgage for this and future generations.


And talking about nature...Nature's wisdom ( after some billions of years of test): Whatever is not working must be gone. After this natural process life goes on...just see through your window and all those natural marvels  are the result of such simple and amazing process.

Govmnt interference is just delaying the inevitable; govmt intervention is picking winners and losers...for now. But eventually everything must come to its natural balance.


Oct 29, 2012 12:23PM

Not going to get into this blame game....But you woosies back East had better pack your stuff and get to high ground.....

If you aren't prepared by now, or don't heed any of the advice; It's basically YOUR FAULT.

Good Luck..

Oct 29, 2012 11:29AM
What's the matter, Mirage Guy? Watching your entire pathetic portfolio get blind-sided by electronic trading while Wall Street is closed? It's a beautiful day for big business and banks to set you up for failure. You are MEANINGLESS in the eyes of greed. Everyone but you knows it.
Oct 29, 2012 11:23AM
Cramer you wall street tool.  When things are good the government needs to get out of the way and stop interferring but when things go south those same people are the first ones looking for a hand out.  Don't you give me government support crap bunch of two faced..........
Oct 29, 2012 11:05AM

Right on MG !!!!!!  8 more day's until we elect a president who knows how to unite our congress, to get things done for America without all of the left / right rhetoric !!


Also, in 8 more day's, those annoying 'vote for Obama' phone calls will stop !!

YES- there is a God !! 

Oct 29, 2012 10:53AM
8 Days till Obama is FIRED!    America can see relief for the democrat economic  Malaise is within sight!
Oct 29, 2012 10:13AM
"without government support"

Just where the Hell IS CONGRESS right now? I'll bet YOUR fortune Jim, that it isn't anyplace good for America or Americans. PARTY OF NO: DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA MEETING- Cancelled due to hurricane winds.

Oct 29, 2012 10:11AM
I'm still blaming the Skull and Crossbones Club. They've decided to postpone Global Economic Destruction games for now. Notably, electronic trading is still up and running. That's the biggest and worst in uninterrupted manipulation and control.


Oct 29, 2012 10:00AM
*LOL* blame President Obama for hurricane Sandy.
He controls the weather and the global markets. right?

Kidding aside, I hope everyone in the path of the storm gets through it well and without incident.

Perhaps by the first week of Nov the DOW will gain 100 pts up from now.

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