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NEW YORK (
) -- Is the
U.S. stock market
overvalued? Jim Cramer thinks not, he said on
Thursday. In fact, Cramer said stocks are the most rational choice among the many asset classes investors have from which to choose.
The market is truly divided, Cramer admitted, but while Europe falters the U.S. economy continues to strengthen. With inflation at bay and the price of everything from grains, chicken and beef to natural gas and the price at the pump on the decline, U.S. companies' earnings are strengthening as well.
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Cramer said he sees the markets at an inflection point. Retail sales are strong, he said, as PVH Corp
(PVH) indicated on last night's show. Auto sales are tracking toward 17.5 million units, up from just 9 million a few years ago. Everything except for housing continues to power higher.
With all of those positives going in our favor, Cramer said stocks may way more sense than bonds because stocks offer growth and income, with rates that will exceed bonds for the foreseeable future.
Cramer's Fantasy Team: Tight End
In the next installment of his "Fantasy Stock Portfolio," Cramer revealed his choice for tight end, a company that is both versatile and dependable -- 3M
(MMM - Get Report)
Cramer said 3M, an Action Alerts PLUS
holding, is an execution machine, with an astounding 4.8% core growth that has propelled its shares to new all-time highs. This company may be an industrial, but it's well diversified, with 35% of sales coming from the rapidly growing emerging markets, which is more than enough to offset an ailing Europe.
3M is all about innovation, Cramer continued, with near a third of the company's sale stemming from products that didn't exist just five years ago. 3M's 45 innovation centers around the globe continue to pump out new products that will offer growth for years to come.
Cramer said 3M is also shareholder-friendly, with a 2.4% dividend and a long 56-year history of dividend raises. The company also has an ample share buyback program as yet another way to reward shareholders.
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With a track record like this, Cramer said that 3M was an easy choice for this year's fantasy team.