Trump Won't Like What GE Is Doing to Its Workers; Investors Should Be Thrilled

 | May 12, 2017 | 8:30 AM EDT
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When he isn't fielding questions about the Comey firing, President Trump may want to take a few minutes this week to check out what General Electric (GE) is up to.

Because as it stands, GE's effort to futurize its business and boost its bottom line in the process is a great example of how Corporate America could stall the President's job creation ambitions. General Electric has quietly spent $4 billion on developing new digital products such as small sensors in jet engines and augmented reality software that spit out valuable data, Reuters reports. The mighty conglomerate isn't alone in trying to modernize America's factories. It is joining the likes of IBM (IBM) , Siemens and many others. 

To be sure, GE and its new tech rivals are trying to take advantage of a lucrative opporunity. 

We're in the flow of ideas in Boston. Groundbreaking of our future campus with the Boston community. pic.twitter.com/D85yXQ4fHL

— Jeff Immelt (@JeffImmelt) May 8, 2017

By 2020, spending on such systems is expected to exceed $500 billion a year, up from $20 billion, according to the report. GE acknowledges that adding technology to its facilities will mean a need for fewer workers than in years gone by. That's probably the case at other manufacturing giants, too.  

"We're going to have a smarter worker," GE CEO Jeff Immelt told Reuters. "We're not gong to have as many workers."

As much as it sucks to say it, investments in modernization are a key component -- albeit small -- to eventually getting GE's stock working again. 

Since Immelt became CEO in 2001, GE's stock has dropped about 29% compared to a doubling for the S&P 500. 

Time to call Immelt to DC for a sit-down, Mr. President. 

Read This Or Lose Out

The Chinese stock market has basically crashed: Interestingly, the U.S. stock market has completely ignored what has happened to the Chinese stock market. As Bloomberg points out, Chinese stocks have been walloped to the tune of $560 billion. 

All eyes on Trump and Comey, or so it seems. At least Munger likes China.

CHARLIE MUNGER: I think the Chinese stock market is cheaper than the American stock market https://t.co/k4OKVYgRL7 by @MylesUdland pic.twitter.com/XfokBgFFE5

— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) May 7, 2017

Here comes the boxing match of your generation, millennials: UFC president Dana White told CNN Friday that he is "pretty confident" the huge fight (boxing bout) between boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and MMA fighter Conor McGregor (below) will become a reality.

Floyd could score a $100 million payday. Not too shabby for punching the loudmouth McGregor in the face a few times.

What Abercrombie could be sold for: Once-hot teen apparel chain Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) could fetch about $1.5 billion in a deal, TheStreet reports. The company disclosed on Wednesday it was talking to several interested parties about a transaction.

Shopping at malls continues to die: The first-quarter results from department stores are in, and they are downright ugly. And the brave investors (maybe dumb) in retail aren't taking too kindly to that harsh reality. J.C. Penney (JCP) delivered a borderline first-quarter disaster on Friday, sending the shares crashing as much as 9%.

Here is TheStreet's in-depth feature on the state of malls right now. Sad stuff.

Jim Cramer and the AAP team hold a position in General Electric for their Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells GE? Learn more now.

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