Jeez, maybe they just don't matter. Maybe the Republicans and the Democrats are simply not on the radar screen anymore and the Trump trade is about not paying attention to Donald Trump.
I have to tell you it is shocking to me that the president can fire the FBI director for what appears to be what he liked -- the trashing of Hillary Clinton and perhaps throwing the election to him -- and the stock market yawns and acts as if it doesn't matter. Or maybe it is a tacit admission that Trump did the right thing? A recognition that the voters wanted the swamp drained, and that included the director of the FBI?
Not only that, but gold acts as if it doesn't matter. In fact, it went down! Gold, the repository of all our fears and our desire to protect ourselves from systemic risk, sells off on the news. Treasuries, so often the flight-to-safety place institutions run to in order to avoid chaos, don't budge. Safety last? I thought safety never took a vacation.
These moves are in broad contrast to the worries and fears I hear from so many of the professionals and wealthy, sophisticated people who have a lot to lose. Last night at Madison Square Garden before the start of the New York Rangers-Ottawa Senators playoff game, all people could buzz about was the fate of the republic. Many of the older folks were alive when President Nixon asked his attorney general to fire the special prosecutor investigating Watergate. Two Justice officials refused and resigned. Only a third-rank lawyer was willing to execute the order.
It was a major constitutional crisis and the consensus of this group of rabid Ranger fans was the Comey firing rose to the gravity of that situation. That's the classic risky event, the black swan or whatever the real big-time hitters like to call the lurking events that cause crashes.
But, as one of them said to me after the discussion, if this sacking doesn't impact the stock market -- a sacking that could mean, like Nixon, Trump has something very big to hide -- maybe the two are totally divorced from each other.
What does it really say when we have a potential constitutional crisis and we've got many stocks screaming higher like there's no crisis or even potential crisis that could hurt your pocketbook? Oh, and the stocks that are falling? They are going down only because of individual stories of weakness.
The answer is different from the "doesn't matter" thesis or the "tacit acceptance" observation.
I think it says, once again, that there is tremendous dichotomy between wealthy, sophisticated individuals who are concerned about the country and therefore their investments in the stocks that make up the S&P 500, and those who analyze companies and find a lot that they do like.
It's the same thing we saw earlier this week at the Ira Sohn conference. Most of these big money managers despise the market, think it is extraordinarily overvalued and this Trump firing is just one more nauseating reason to sell everything except a handful of special situations. They regard stocks as playthings and the overall market as all that really matters and they bet against it constantly.
I led a roundtable today at TheStreet where some truly fine practitioners in the fixed-income, gold and currency markets dread the stock market because there's too much debt, too much actual instability, and too much overall, let's just call it recklessness, for them to fathom. These people have had long careers and they have been far more right in their careers than wrong, including one gentleman who predicted both the right outcome in Brexit and the presidential race.
They are extremely concerned and have little faith in the moment. Some are preparing for a reckoning not unlike what we saw in 2007. They also firmly believe it is now inconceivable that Washington can get anything done at all, of which the Comey firing is just one more cherry on the top of this nihilistic nothingness that plagues the capital. One felt interest rates can go down and stocks go down at the same time. Another fretted that the markets could be so thin this summer that who knows what can happen.
The lone dissenter of the four excellent panelists? The equity expert, Sarge Guilfoyle, a frequent guest on Mad Money, and what's he doing? He's making a ton of money in the stock market, just had one of his best months ever. He, like me, sees lots of opportunity. He's looking at great franchises like Walmart (WMT) and Coca-Cola (KO) and Citigroup (C) and riding their stocks higher. I'm with him because I, like Sarge, struggle to relate any of those to Comey or Trump or Russian influence on the election itself.
For guys like me and Sarge, it's business as usual. There are places to make money, pots of gold, opportunities galore, and all that Washington has become is some sort of sad sideshow of irrelevance. It might take Trump firing Comey through a tweet to get more stock pickers alarmed, although that would most likely just make people buy the stock of Twitter (TWTR) , with the more aggressive buying the June 18 call options.
So what opportunities are we seeing? Some are too hot and we will have to wait another day for them to come in. I am talking about the gaming stocks after Nvidia (NVDA) said demand for gaming is off the charts. You know we have loved this investment thesis highlighting, besides Nvidia, Activision-Blizzard (ATVI) , Electronic Arts (EA) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) endlessly.
Some are to be filed away for another day until sellers run their course. Here I am thinking about Allergan (AGN) , which had its stock downgraded by Goldman Sachs from Buy to Neutral and it has now fallen 14 points from when it first reported a very good quarter. Let the sellers finish, they can't get done today, and then pick some up. (Citigroup and Allergan are part of TheStreet's Action Alerts PLUS portfolio.)
Same goes for Disney (DIS) . The company reported, as feared, real weakness at ESPN, which was made up by fabulous tentpole studio productions and theme parks. You don't get a discount to a high-quality name like this, and while my Squawk on the Street partner Carl Quintanilla correctly asks how long can you stay with a company that continually disappoints because of ESPN, I come back and say as long as you are getting a discount to what the company is worth over the long term.
I know that it is loathsome to buy stocks at the 52-week high, but this is the spring and so far it's looking like a big holiday season for Home Depot (HD) -- remember, gardening is the "tis" for Home Depot to be jolly and I like the Matthew Boss call out of JPMorgan saying people could be too bearish about retail given the decline in gasoline, better weather, a consumer wealth effect and a soon-to-be-annualized easy comparison with the stock market sag from last year's election.
Overall it's a simple takeaway. I am not whistling past the graveyard of a second Watergate. I am not dismissing troubles that some could classify as threatening to the republic.
I am saying that what does Jim Comey have to do with the semiconductors Nvidia sells? What does President Trump have to do with the 30 million gamers who play Star Wars Battlefront II and Call of Duty World War Two or watch others, better than they are, duke it out against each other. You may wish to relate the two, others insist on relating it, but in the end these are stocks, not pollster ratings, and they go up on their own merits, not on a presidential firing, or even, shockingly, a potential delay in the much-ballyhooed Trump economic agenda that just keeps being put back further and further by a parade of very strange, very out-there news.
Cocktails & Cramer
Join Jim Cramer on May 23 for an exclusive party at Bar San Miguel, his Brooklyn tavern.
You'll get to watch a screening of Mad Money, after which Jim will arrive fresh off the CNBC set to mingle, pose for photos and answer your investing questions.
Participants will enjoy dinner, drinks, an autographed copy of Jim's book Get Rich Carefully and a free one-year membership to Action Alerts PLUS, Cramer's VIP club for investors. (Current AAP members will receive one extra year of membership for free.)
When: Tuesday, May 23, 6-9 p.m. EDT
Where: Bar San Miguel, 307 Smith St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Cost: $375 per person
Space is very limited, so click here to reserve your ticket to this exclusive event today.