Don't look now, but the Chinese stock market is off to a bullish start so far in 2009!

Bucking the bearish trend of the U.S. and other markets, the Shanghai Composite Index advanced to its highest level in more than a month on Monday following the weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. The benchmark Shanghai Composite added 1.1%, or 21.03 points, to close at 2011.68, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, China's second exchange, rose 2.1% to 623.01. So far in January, the Shanghai has risen 9.3%, which is the largest gain among the world's 10 biggest stock markets.

Many investors believe that as January goes, so goes the rest of the year in terms of stock market performance. Is the early strength in China forecasting more growth ahead?

investment guru Jim Cramer believes money will continue to pour into China. Last Wednesday, Cramer said that

China's stimulus is clearly working

as demonstrated by the advance above 1,000 of the Baltic Dry Index. Cramer pointed out that steel inventories are lean, as indicated by


(NUE) - Get Report


U.S. Steel

(X) - Get Report

, and China is still importing coal, as indicated by

Peabody Energy

(BTU) - Get Report

-- all bullish signs of an economic recovery in the Far East.

The bottom line: China's stock market is the only major market in the world displaying strength. Investors shouldn't ignore the bullish price action in the Far East, or they risk missing out on some big opportunities.

Here are some ideas on how investors could capitalize off the strength in China.

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Editor's note: RealMoney's Dan Fitzpatrick will be on Stockpickr Answers today to respond to questions posed by members of the Stockpickr community. Not a member? Join the Stockpickr community today -- for free.

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