This article was originally published Feb. 23
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"The supermarket aisles are the only place to hide," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday.
On yet another chaotic market day, he said consumer staples are one group that's not coming unhinged.
Cramer said it's a simple matter of supply and demand. As money flows out of other sectors, it needs to flow somewhere, and through a process of elimination, consumer staples are the only sector left standing.
He acknowledged that consumer staple stocks may not be done going down, but they're going down far less than everything else.
He said it would be suicidal for money managers to start a position in the financials. He said the early-cycle stocks won't work with unemployment so high. Meanwhile, autos, he said, are untouchable, and the machinery and steel stocks lost their luster when the stimulus bill passed with no significant outlay for infrastructure.
That leaves only retail, which is getting stretch thinner and thinner, said Cramer, and the REITs, which have no defenses against the onslaught. Technology, he said , is also getting attacked from all sides. Even the utilities, he said, are lowering dividends, making them undesirable.
Cramer said gold remains his favorite sector in the market, but he cautioned that even in a horrible market, investors can't have just gold in their portfolio.
The list goes on, said Cramer. Healthcare is getting rocked by new Medicare rules, and even the mighty biotechs are finding the easy money's already been made.