It’s unclear why the auto sector is as weak as it is

While many of the market’s semiconductor stocks slid into Tuesday’s close, CNBC’s Jim Cramer noticed one key player prevail: the stock of Advanced Micro Devices, which has rallied an astounding 192 percent just in 2018.

“Many of the semiconductor stocks were down today, but not this one,” the “Mad Money” host said. “Why? End markets.”

A leader in chips — a colloquial term for high-power computer processors — for personal computers, video gaming, data centers and cloud computing, AMD has positioned itself in a number of growth areas under Su’s leadership, Cramer said. Read more of his take on AMD here.

But the end markets for NXP Semiconductor, another chipmaker that focuses on the connected car and the internet of things, are not quite as clear. In particular, weakness in the auto market has weighed heavily on NXP’s shares.

“The autos have become one of the weakest parts of the global economy,” Cramer said on Tuesday. “We just aren’t making as many as we thought we would be at this point with the economy growing.”

And the reasons for the slowdown are still unclear, the “Mad Money” host said.

“Could it be Uber? Student debt? Whatever the cause, something’s wrong and the auto stocks, especially Ford, reflect that weakness,” he said. “So investors worry that NXP’s selling into an ugly end market that keeps getting hammered.”

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