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The process of picking a winning fantasy football team and a strong diversified portfolio are similar, and Jim Cramer was all about helping investors pick a portfolio on Monday's "Mad Money" show to navigate what could be a tough schedule in the season ahead.
Both a good football stock and a portfolio require "good players in every position," and if picked well, each will "make you money all the way up though the Superbowl."
Stocks that can withstand a recession are necessary for long-term success in the market, Cramer believes. Start with picking "good defensive linemen."
His first pick of the six was
. The stock carries a 2.2% yield, and consumers do not stop buying Pepsi products during hard economic times. He compared Pepsi to the NFL's Carolina Panthers, a team known for its stability.
Cramer's second pick was
Medco Health Solutions
. With access to 20% of the U.S. diabetic population, the company does "consistently impressive business." Cramer likened Medco to the New England Patriots.
Third of the bunch was
, which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS. Similar to with Pepsi, Cramer likes that people do not stop using Altria's products -- such as cigarettes -- in times of economic hardship. He also likes its 4.4% yield. He compared Altria to the Baltimore Ravens, the "bad boys" of the NFL.
Next, Cramer talked about
, a stock he had also discussed during Friday's broadcast. He said that the stock not only is "under the radar" and cheaper than its competitors but also has nothing to do with the
. He matched Northrop Grumman up with the Chicago Bears.
Fifth of the linemen was
. Along with its consistency, Cramer likes that McDonald's is an international play. He sized up the stock with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Finally, he called on
Procter & Gamble
. Beyond its 2.1% yield, the stock is known to be strong "year in and year out." Cramer said that this is similar to his hometown heroes, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Cramer next discussed the need for a "quarterback," considered the leader of an NFL team, in one's portfolio. This stock must "be the best or among the best at what it does" and also must have great management.
Cramer's first pick of the bunch was
. He believes it has a "fantastic buyback" and that high oil prices will continue to help the compnay's profits. He compared Exxon to Peyton Manning, a quarterback known for being reliable and steady.
Second he mentioned
. Cramer said that the stock is going to break out and reach 100 but that investors should wait for a dip before pulling the trigger. He likened this stock to Tom Brady.
, the world's largest manufacturer of PCs. Cramer likes its CEO and believes the time is right for tech. He related HP's situation to that of Matt Hasselbeck, who is a "great performer without much fanfare."
Cramer next mentioned
, or the "Schlumberger of the plains." He likes that it is a leading agricultural company, and he related Deere to quarterback Carson Palmer.
Fifth of six was
. Cramer likes United as an international play and believes in the company's CEO. He associated the stock with NFL star Drew Brees.
Finally, Cramer talked about
. The stock is presently 7 points off its high and is part of the infrastructure market that "transcends" the U.S., Cramer said. He said to expect an "extraordinary fall" for both Foster Wheeler and John Kitna.
Put Me In, Coach Cramer
Reminding viewers of the importance of a company's leadership, Cramer said that one must "look for confidence" in a leader. And for him, that principle brings to mind the chairman and CEO of
, Lew Frankfort.
Welcoming Frankfort onto the show for the first time since May, Cramer referred to Coach as "the ultimate" in the luxury retail. Frankfort agreed, stating that the handbag business is growing in double digits each year, with Coach leading this growth.
Coach's quarterly operating income will total $245 million during the fourth quarter of its fiscal year of 2007. This figure is up 43% year over year; its fiscal-year 2008 guidance is up 22% year over year.
With sales growth of at least 20% in each quarter over the last five years, Coach is in the midst of expanding retail operations throughout North America and Asia. It will also be moving into producing fragrances and jewelry, which Frankfort said was recommended by Coach customers.
Although many retail-related companies are expecting to take a hit from the upcoming economic recession, Frankfort insisted that Coach's customers are "alive, well, and shopping." Cramer thanked Frankford for his visit and told him to "make as much money as he did the last time" after he appeared on the program.
To view Cramer's interview with Lew Frankfort, please click here.
Get With It, Fed
"For months and months, I have been saying that we are heading to a recession," Cramer said. He said that millions of Americans are in danger of losing their homes and their jobs due to "a cold, heartless
The Fed could solve the anticipated recession by aggressively cutting interest rates, Cramer said. However, he does not expect a quarter-point or half-point rate cut to save the jobs and real estate of the American middle class.
Cramer believes that the actions of the Fed show a "nerd mentality." He added that there is no substitution for real world experience, which keeps our economy heading toward "no growth."
Instead, Cramer called for investors to start toward building a "counter-Bernanke portfolio." They will need stocks that "will fly in this environment" and provide "the revenge of the jocks."
Cramer said that there is always a bull market somewhere "in spite of the nerd brigade." In turn, he will be providing a new set of stocks for viewers to look at each day this week. He believes that "we can go higher" regardless of what looks higher.
However, if Chairman Ben Bernanke did cut the interest rate a full percent, Cramer said, Bernanke would be "the best guy ever."
Cramer was bullish on
Bank Of America
Research In Motion
Cramer was bearish on
For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here
At the time of publication, Cramer was long McDonald's, Citigroup and Altria.
Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."
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