Updated from 6:59 a.m. EDT
Tuesday marked another near record high for oil, attributed generally to concerns about tensions in the Middle East and a weakening dollar.
The second half of the year got off to a slow start, with the dollar slipping vs. other major currencies while gold prices rose. But the market rebounded when some economic news came in better than expected, even if still not great.
announced it will sell its home lending business to Lone Star Funds for $1.5 billion in cash, plus $4.4 billion of assumed debt, in a move to exit the turbulent mortgage arena. CIT plans to focus on its commercial finance operations. This is the latest attempt by CIT to cut its risk and improve liquidity.
In other news,
fell to it lowest price since before the
bid, and there was mixed news out of the auto industry. While
reported dismal June numbers,
actually posted better-than-expected numbers.
With this in mind, we thought we'd take a look at yesterday's most-searched stocks on
and see what
These stocks could be in the news for a number of reasons. Some require immediate attention; others may not. Regardless, it never hurts to hear what Cramer (or any of the other professional investors on the site) has to say about them. The key is to gather as much information as you can in order to make the most informed investment decisions you can.
being big movers on Tuesday, we'll kick it off with
and the other natural gas plays.
, Cramer breaks down the natural gas space:
"The best-performing group this year has been natural gas, and today's no different. I have to tell you that stories like "Georgia Judge Cites Carbon Dioxide in Denying Coal Plant Permit" in today's New York Times business section reinforces that notion, and so does the astounding 76% decline in liquefied natural gas imports in the month of April. Both of these point to more domestic natural gas drilling and price increases that get nat gas closer to its historic 6-to-1 relationship with crude. The Georgia judge rejection story is typical of what's out there right now. Dynegy (DYN) and LS Power, two solid outfits, were trying to get permission to build a coal plant but failed to do so because there are no regulations out there to base a decision on. That's been the story ever since Congress and the Bush administration can't agree on standards for carbon dioxide emissions. The builders presumably need something to produce energy, and the only likely alternative is natural gas, which is much easier to permit. (It is amazing to me that these power companies keep turning to coal, as if we have a policy. When will they just turn to natural gas as a first resort now that it is cleaner and more plentiful?) I predict an deluge of natural gas power plants as the only stopgap that can pass muster and provide consistent energy -- and it is consistent, with a price that is often cheaper when you factor in how hard it is to build a cleaner coal plant that still, in mid-build, may be stopped if there ever is a deal in Washington. The price of that gas will go higher, though, because there isn't enough natural gas around to import as the LNG export business has grown to a halt. Short supplies internationally have killed that business. Of course, the natural gas companies and drillers keep making new finds or finding new ways to get natural gas out of the ground. We have had find after find with horizontal drilling all over America, with Chesapeake (CHK) - Get Report, Devon (DVN) - Get Report, Apache (APA) - Get Report, Ultra (UPL) , Anadarko (APC) - Get Report, El Paso (EP) , Southwestern (SWN) - Get Report and XTO leading the way. So many others, too numerous to mention, have been wildcatting for natural gas, typically at a cost of $3, which is bringing a $10 profit margin, and Canada is at last drilling, and they're the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. The complex has exhibited an astounding run. Those who think that the market can rally big -- and it should someday, given how oversold it is -- probably believe that the only way it could do so is to have an oil crash, so I can't blame those who want to hold off. There are moments, though, where the whole market is down -- see my thoughts here -- and you have a chance to buy these stocks cheaply. I await an article, one article besides mine, that explains the resurgence in natural gas in bullish terms. Until we get a plethora of them, this remains the most lucrative thesis I can embrace."
For more of Cramer's opinions on yesterday's most-searched stocks, including
, check out the
portfolio at Stockpickr.com.
(Editor's note: At the time of publication of this article and/or of original publication of his posts and shows, Cramer owned Southwestern, Devon, XTO and El Paso for his Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust. Cramer is a featured commentator for
, which is owned by General Electric; as part of his contract, Cramer holds restricted shares in GE.
Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com.