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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- An ugly market close but where was the carnage? Jim Cramer asked on CNBC's "Mad Money" Tuesday. Where was the mass destruction in the face of what could be the worst Washington showdown since the Obama administration took over?
We should be going down hard now, but stocks have stayed resilient, he said. We could be in for a long period of rancor and indecision. He wondered, maybe the market is saying there won't be a showdown?
Cramer said maybe people believe that even if there is no deal immediately, there might be one down the road. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has successfully kept rates down, and lower rates buttress the valuation of so many stocks, especially bond-market equivalent stocks.Remember, we should never fight the Fed, even when we think it's out of bullets, Cramer said. Another factor in why the market hasn't collapsed is housing, he said. Perhaps the market sees lower mortgage rates reigniting the housing business, even after what looks like a pause of several months. After all, the market was willing to overlook a key orders number from homebuilder Lennar (LEN). Add to that foreign markets that are incredibly robust such as the Baltic Exchange Dry Index, which has almost doubled from its July low, signaling that China is starting to order raw materials again. Additionally, the European Central Bank commissioners are saying they will remain accomodative because the recovery is so fragile. What else? Mergers and acquisitions activism and breakup pressures are making this a very difficult environment for short-sellers, oil is finally coming down now that Iran is finally acting nice at the United Nations, and the auto market is seeing improvement, as seen by Carmax (KMX), which reported outstanding sales and earnings Tuesday. The bottom line: We can't be sure why the debt drama hasn't crushed the markets, Cramer said. Maybe the market is dead wrong. But it could be a sign that some of the positives are playing out, making the sailing a lot smoother than we'd expect, Cramer said.
Executive Decision: Stuart MillerIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Stuart Miller, CEO of Lennar. Cramer said that while some homebuilding stocks were hurting today, Lennar posted a terrific quarter, finishing the day 4.66% higher after beating top- and bottom-line consensus for the third quarter. However, new orders were up only 14% year over year, below Wall Street's expectations, Cramer said. As to the limited inventory in the housing market, Miller said the dominant theme for housing over the next few years is filling the hole of production that has not been filled over the past year. If you look at the average during the downturn, Lennar was delivering about 700,000 homes per year, Miller said. The need in the country by population is 1.2 million to 1.5 million. There will be speed bumps that derive from interest rates, public policy, international events, but the three-to-five-year trajectory in Lennar's view is generally positive. Housing services and financial services will be driving Lennar's short-term quarterly performance, Miller said. These products are the core and he feels the company is extremely well-positioned in those two areas. Cramer asked Miller how fluctuating interest rates will affect his business in September and beyond. As things stand right now, lower interest rates are brining customers and traffic back to the field, Miller said, and he reiterated his prediction of a steady rebound in housing in the long-term.
Executive Decision: Dan HesseIn his second "Executive Decision" interview, Cramer spoke to Sprint (S) CEO Dan Hesse. After the record-breaking weekend for Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales, Cramer is eyeing the wireless sector, and Sprint is one of his favorite plays in the sector. Sprint has both the spectrum and the deep pockets needed to finish building out its next-generation 4G LTE network to compete with Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T). Since Hesse's last appearance 13 months ago, Japanese telecom SoftBank has acquired an 80% stake in Sprint. The demand for the iPhone 5c and 5s is strong, Hesse said -- a little bit too strong since Sprint is beginning to run out of inventory, especially the higher-end 5s version.
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