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Big Oil Has Become Too Hard

This column was originally published on RealMoney on March 6 at 11:50 a.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.

At what point do people just say, "Owning oil's too hard?"

I believe that point is rapidly approaching. Despite my affinity for the group, it's just playing too much havoc with performance.

I thought of that this weekend when I recognized that almost none of the stocks that Investor's Business Daily focuses on in its 100 list is still oil. The momentum is gone, courtesy of the endless backing and filling. The incredible decline in natural gas has made people feel that the whole run has been an aberration. Which is too bad, because that's just untrue. But fighting it has been way too hard.

Here's what I would do going forward: Pick one driller, pick one oil and trade around them. I am picking Occidental (OXY) and Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) for Action Alerts PLUS . I also like Amerada Hess (AHC - Get Report), Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report) and Transocean (RIG - Get Report) as well as Ultra Petroleum (UPL - Get Report). I would make sure you have a little on the sheets of these at all times and buy them on days like today.

But the big oil thesis has become too hard, and to not recognize it is to court underperformance against both the Dow and the S&P 500 for the foreseeable future.

Which we know in this game is the only future.

Random musings: Are you ready, radio listeners ? I'm on the air one hour earlier, 1-2 p.m. EST, starting today. Be sure to tune in at the right time -- and to call me at my new number, 1-800-743-4443.

P.S. from TheStreet.com Editor-in-Chief, Dave Morrow:
It's always been my opinion that it pays to have more -- not fewer -- expert market views and analyses when you're making investing or trading decisions. That's why I recommend you take advantage of our free trial offer to TheStreet.com's RealMoney premium Web site, where you'll get in-depth commentary and money-making strategies from over 50 Wall Street pros, including Jim Cramer. Take my advice -- try it now.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Occidental Petroleum and Halliburton.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for Action Alerts PLUS . Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click here . Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by clicking here .

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AHC $5.50 0.00%
HAL $41.91 0.00%
OXY $75.73 0.00%
RIG $15.59 0.00%
SLB $84.01 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,730.11 -27.80 -0.16%
S&P 500 2,076.78 -0.64 -0.03%
NASDAQ 5,009.2140 -3.9090 -0.08%

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