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Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Alternatives to Banks, Tech (Final)

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "With so many other places to go, why bother with tech or the banks?" Jim Cramer asked viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday. Many people want so badly to invest in the beaten-down tech and bank stocks, but he'd rather be in the industrials, if the economy starts growing, and in the food and drug stocks, if it doesn't.

Cramer explained that the tech sector no longer trades monolithically. In the early days of the PC, he said, when tech was first emerging as a secular growth industry and not a cyclical one, this was not the case. Back then, everyone was in growth mode and just about every stock was a winner.

But even in those days, said Cramer, there were still losers, companies that were left behind with each new iteration from PCs to the Internet and from the Internet to mobile, etc. In today's world, there's a glut of PCs, said Cramer, and a glut of many components, all of which makes the tech group very hard to invest in.

As Oracle (ORCL) has proved, even the best of the best can turn on a dime and be unpredictable for investors. Cramer said that only Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , seem to be able to buck that trend, and even Apple has lost some luster after the passing of founder Steve Jobs.

The same principles apply in the banking group. Cramer asked, when even the best bank was only able to deliver a 1% return for the year, why would anyone want to invest there? There's simply not enough business to go around and regulators are nipping at the heels of every profitable business the banks once had.

Cramer reminded viewers that the markets want growth, and in the absence of growth, they'll settle for dividends. The banks and the techs have neither. That notion prompted Cramer to ask, "why bother?" He said that the industrials and the food and drug stocks, while traditionally slow growers, offer dividend protection and may, in fact, grow faster than both tech and the banks for the foreseeable future.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Shop

For his "Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Shop" series, Cramer focused on shopping and turned the spotlight on iShares DJ Real Estate Fund (IYR), a real estate ETF that focuses on not only shopping centers, but also the pickup in apartment and office construction.

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