Jim Cramer's Stop Trading! Countrywide-Merrill

Cramer sees a merger.
Publish date:



is the "logical takeout" for

Merrill Lynch


, Jim Cramer said Thursday on


"Stop Trading!" segment.

Cramer said "now is the time to strike" for Merrill, which just reported a solid quarter and said its buy of mortgage servicing firm First Franklin is working out. Cramer said Countrywide, which he called "the last man standing" in the hard-hit subprime mortgage business, could fetch $45 a share in a deal, up from a recent $38.

Cramer wants to buy


(SLB) - Get Report

ahead of Friday morning's earnings but might limit himself to buying call options.

Cramer also wants to wait for


(GOOG) - Get Report

to report its first-quarter earnings after the market closes Thursday before pulling the trigger.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no position in stocks mentioned.

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