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The U.S. economy continues to be aided by falling gasoline prices, Cramer said, and everything from restaurants to retailers such as Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Wal-Mart (WMT) are being helped by lower gasoline prices. There's also a turn in housing underway, he noted, which is also starting to build momentum.But then there's Europe, the daily struggle between countries that can't seem to agree on anything. Cramer said the Germans will eventually have no choice but to aid the faltering nations, but every day they delay is another day where the markets flounder. From the industrials -- like Boeing (BA) and Eaton (ETN), two stocks which Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS -- to the prices of commodities like oil and aluminum, Europe is in control. Cramer said that in this market, good news is fleeting while bad news lingers. That's why on days when it looks like the Germans will lend a helping hand, the markets rally. There are. of course. also problems here at home, he added, but even the likes of Facebook (FB) and J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) aren't enough to hold down U.S. stocks by themselves. "It's a big game of Euro chicken," Cramer concluded, and until someone in Europe blinks it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Executive DecisionIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with Mike Thaman, chairman and CEO of Owens Corning (OC), a company that derives 64% of its revenue from housing-related products but a stock that's been lagging the overall housing sector. Thaman said he remains confident in his business because the company is seeing strength in its roofing and insulation businesses as housing recovers. He said while the decline in oil prices hasn't helped reduce asphalt prices, a key ingredient in Owens' roofing products, falling oil prices will eventually soften inflation. As for the elephant in the room, Europe, Thaman said that initially the company felt it would take Europe three years to recover from its 2008-2009 crisis. However,with recent events, he now feels that another three years will be needed. That's why Owens is taking action and slashing costs where it can to accommodate soft demand for the longer term.
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