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There are three sectors, even in this market, where market players can make some money, Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday. He advised his viewers to look into regional banks, utilities and real estate investment trusts.

People could look at this market and give up since the tech sector, industrials and even retailers are performing bearishly, he said. They're either all losing money or looking way too risky to invest in.

Cereals and soups are defensive stocks that are working, but companies without dividends and buybacks are not doing well, he said, adding he has never seen such bad pin action from defenseless stocks.

While people could call it a bear market and sit on the sidelines, Cramer suggests they look for opportunities instead because the market is full of them.

He said he wants people to find groups that have solid dividends, so that if the stock goes low the high-yield action can act as a cushion. Also look for cheap stocks with buybacks or ones that are takeover targets, he said.

Given how bad the market is, there aren't too many takeover bids, he said. But he does see takeover prospects in the regional banks, utilities and REIT sectors.

Also, Cramer told viewers to look at a company's European exposure before buying the stock because a lot of weakness has been coming from Europe, he said.

Take It to the Banks

Starting with regional banks, he said nobody wants to buy banks when interest rates are rising, but hopefully with just one more rate hike, this could be a worry of the past.

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They also have serious cash, he said. This makes them leaders in lending growth and acquisitions. When rate hikes ease, banks become cheap, and then they become takeover targets, he said, adding that we are currently in this environment.

For this sector, Cramer provided an example:

National City

( NCC) buying

Harbor Florida Bancshares



Since this merger is already a done deal, he doesn't want you to buy National City or Harbor Florida. But there are two look-alikes he wants players to look at:

Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida

(SBCF) - Get Free Report


Hudson City Bancorp



Both are takeover targets with 2.2% and 2.3% dividend yields, he said. While Hudson City has a big buyback, he said he believes Seacoast could be the better story. He wants people to do their homework and decide for themselves.

But viewers need to be extra careful buying either of the two, he warned.

"If you jump all over them, you could turn a touchdown into a seven-and-a-half-yard gain," Cramer said. "Right now I believe the bull market is in regional banks."

Useful Utilities

Cramer wants people to stay in the game because there are still places to make money, he said. He doesn't usually talk about utilities because the market isn't usually this tough, but this is the second sector he believes could potentially make you money.

Cramer emphasized that he is not trying to pitch individual stocks, but rather is showing viewers entire sectors that they could look into themselves to come up with stock picks by following his method of choosing.

Since people never cut back on their energy use as much as they would like in a tough economy, he believes utilities make up a good defense sector that usually endures the impact of a bearish market. Also, these companies usually have a high dividend, which means yield protection, he said.

In 1935, the Public Utility Holding Company Act was enacted to put an end to Samuel Insull's monopoly in the utility area. For decades there was no consolidation in the utility sector because of this silly law, Cramer said. But last year, Congress repealed it.


Cascade Natural Gas

(CGC) - Get Free Report

is merging with

MDU Resources

(MDU) - Get Free Report


Cramer sees another takeover target in

Chesapeake Utilities

(CPK) - Get Free Report


Black Hills

(BKH) - Get Free Report



(IDA) - Get Free Report




are other potential takeovers, although, he said, Chesapeake is his favorite bet.

Utilities with high dividends equal straight money, Cramer said. But he warned not to jump the gun and buy all at once. Buy a little at a time, he said.

REITs for the Sky

"Even in an ugly, hideous market I tend to gravitate toward certain sectors," Cramer told his viewers. These have defenses that keep the stock from going too low, he said, adding that in this type of market environment, people need to be conservative.

Takeover bids can make people money hand over fist, he said. The third sector where he sees this as a probability is the real estate investment trust industry.

Right now, commercial real estate companies are being acquired, but since they are not household names, people are not focusing on them, he said. Why are they being acquired? Because it's cheaper for them to buy commercial properties than it is to build them since these properties are in short supply right now, he said.

This sector is also great because of their high dividends, he said.

However, Cramer said he does not like mall REITs, as the premiums paid for them are very low. Instead, he likes office properties.

Two commercial real estate companies he named on Wednesday's show are

Equity Office Properties Trust

( EOP) and

Vornado Realty Trust

(VNO) - Get Free Report

. While both of these companies are great, Cramer said they are too big to be acquired.

What we need is a small REIT with strong yield and office property in New York, since that's where it's hot right now, he said.

He recommended two:

Reckson Associates Realty

(RA) - Get Free Report


Brandywine Realty Trust

(BDN) - Get Free Report

, both of which have high yields.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on

Varian Medical Systems

(VAR) - Get Free Report



(BAX) - Get Free Report



(EZM) - Get Free Report



(NBR) - Get Free Report


Under Armour

( UARM),


(LOW) - Get Free Report


Petrohawk Energy


Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Free Report



(CSX) - Get Free Report


Cramer was bearish on

Electronic Arts

( ERTS),


(GME) - Get Free Report





Southern Copper

( PCU),

Basic Energy Services

(BAS) - Get Free Report


Home Depot

(HD) - Get Free Report


IRIS International

( IRIS),

Helen of Troy

(HELE) - Get Free Report


Burlington Northern Santa Fe

( BNI).

For more of Cramer's insights during the most recent Lightning Round,

click here.

As originally published, this story contained an error. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.

At time of publication, Cramer was long Nabors.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on Mad Money are his own and do not reflect the opinions of 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, 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 is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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