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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Does the next Federal Reserve chairman really matter to the stock market? Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" viewers Monday that over the long term, probably not that much. But for those shorting the markets going into this past weekend, it mattered a great deal.
Cramer explained that the only thing that stands in the way of higher stock prices is Washington. That's why the thought of the ever-polarizing Larry Summers taking the helm of the Fed had the bears betting big that a Summers appointment, along with other disappointing news from the Fed this week, would surely take the markets sharply lower.
That's why the surprise resignation of Summers from consideration had the bears covering their positions all day today, sending the averages up sharply. "The bears lost their best friend," he continued, and that gave the bulls all the ammunition they needed.Among the remaining contenders for Fed chair seems to be the Fed's current vice chairman, Janet Yellen. Cramer said that unlike Summers, Yellen is widely viewed as a peacemaker and a consensus builder, something that investors find much more appealing. Only time will tell is Yellen is indeed in the running, but for the time being, the bulls received a welcome reprieve from the Washington chokehold.
All in the PackagingWith the announcement that Packaging Corporation Of America (PKG) is buying Boise (BZ), news that sent Packaging's stock up 10.7%, Cramer said it's time to add a paper stock to your portfolio. His recommendation? International Paper (IP). Cramer said the paper and container business is highly cyclical, which makes now the time to buy as the world's economies are on the mend. Better still, after getting hit hard over the past few years, the paper industry has been aggressively cutting capacity, matching supply with the new levels of demand. International Paper is the best-of-breed player, said Cramer, as the company has not only been cutting capacity but also raising prices. These price increases have easily absorbed by buyers, making additional increases a near certainty. In addition, IP has also divested nearly seven million acres of its land holdings, making the lucrative packaging business now more than half of its business.
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