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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It's easy to focus on what's wrong with the markets, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Thursday. So why not focus instead on what's going right, like housing? "Housing is coming back," noted Cramer, "and it's going to take a lot of sectors with it."
Cramer said the housing market may have bottomed out in 2007, but things are finally beginning to change as homebuilders like Toll Brothers (TOL) and Lennar (LEN) are up 31% and 40% for the year, respectively. So with home builders finally starting to build more homes, investors need to ask, what else comes with that?Home builders need materials, said Cramer, so why not look into a Masco (MAS) or Sherwin-Williams (SHW) or Owens Corning (OC)? All of these stocks are cheap. Home buyers will need loans, so that's good news for Wells Fargo (WFC) and US Bancorp (USB), said Cramer. They will also need insurance, think Travelers (TRV). While those may be the obvious plays, Cramer said there are plenty of other companies that benefit as well. Time Warner (TWX) will provide cable service to many new homes while Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) will provide phone service. Cramer also touted retail, which does well when homes are increasing in value. He likes Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), along with Home Depot (HD) and Costco (COST), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive DecisionIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Richard Pops, chairman and CEO of drug maker Alkermes (ALKS), a company that expects to see double-digit revenue growth next year. Pops said that the trend of big pharmaceutical companies losing patent protection for blockbuster drugs continues, which is excellent news for patients around the world as cheaper, generic versions are being proliferated to everyone. On the flip side, Pops said that the world's largest drug makers are getting very aggressive in their pursuits to replace those drugs and are snapping up smaller biotech firms to do so. Pops said that Alkermes is now in the sweet spot; it's large enough that it has all of the resources it needs to make medicines, get them approved and manufacture them, but it's also not too big that bureaucracy slows its pace of innovation. That said, Pops also admitted that when it comes to marketing and educating doctors on new treatments, Alkermes has a better job to do.
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