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Jim Cramer's Stop Trading! Countrywide-Merrill

Cramer sees a merger.



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 Free Report

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

Cramer also wants to wait for


(GOOG) - Get Free 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.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of He contributes daily market commentary for's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for and, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

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