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Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Year-End Beats

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As the year draws to a close, there's only one thing on the minds of money managers, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Tuesday, and that's beating the averages and their peers.

Cramer recalled that when he ran a hedge fund, if he was beating the averages at this point on the calendar, he'd simply declare victory and take a vacation so as not to screw anything up before Jan 1. If anything, his fund would become day traders, making a little here or there but not taking any major risks that could undo their gains for the year.

But if a fund is behind the averages, behind their peers, then there's only one thing that matters, Cramer said, and that's catching up by buying into what everyone else was buying into. In today's markets, that means stocks like Priceline.com (PCLN), Google (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN), he said, stocks with lots of momentum.

The value of such momentum names like Netflix (NFLX) and Starbucks (SBUX) won't matter to these managers, said Cramer, as they will be solely focused on getting to their goals. Chasing performance is an all-to-common tactic at the close of the year, which is why Cramer said he'd be a buyer of all of these hot names going into December.

Off the Charts

In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Bob Lang over the charts of National Oilwell Varco (NOV), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) and Tesoro (TSO), three natural resource stocks that have been falling along with the price of oil.

Using a daily chart of National Oilwell Varco, Lang noted a change in momentum with this stock, as the MACD momentum indicator flashed a bullish crossover. He also noted a floor at $79 a share, giving the stock lots of upside. These buy signals were confirmed by the weekly chart, which also showed crossovers in both the MACD and the Williams oscillator, and Lang flagged the bullish cup-and-handle pattern, all leading to a $100 price target.

Lang was also bullish on Cliffs Natural, whose daily chart also displayed the cup-and-handle and weekly chart displayed an even more bullish inverse-head-and-shoulders pattern. Tesoro, he noted, was also building a base at current levels and is poised to launch to higher highs as it crossed its 200-day moving average while also showing a MACD crossover.

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