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NEW YORK (
) -- Are we done going higher?
That was the question Jim Cramer asked viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday, as he responded to colleague Doug Kass' call that the market has peaked. Cramer said there's no reason to panic or to "sell, sell, sell," but there's always room for differing opinions.
According to Kass, the market's done going higher. He cites earnings, which were met only with cost cuts and job reductions, as one major concern. Kass said that the market could be headed for another sizable collapse with the muted recovery in housing, increased consumer borrowing and a ballooning federal deficit.
Cramer said when investors come across a viewpoint that differs from their own, they shouldn't dismiss it, but instead embrace it and study it. He said from his vantage point, things are improving. He said there isn't much inflation, the major job cuts are over, and Ben Bernanke will continue to lead the financial system back from the dead.
According to Cramer, the markets will not see Dow 10,300 anytime soon, but will likely pull back 3% to 5%, before resuming an upward trajectory.
He reminded viewers that September is historically unkind to the markets, so if they have big profits, they need to ring the register and raise cash to buy back in at lower levels. Cramer said investors need to prepare for a "business as usual," garden-variety market correction.
On a final note, Cramer told viewers that there was one area of concern for the markets, and that's job creation. He called job creation the markets' Achilles heel. Without job creation, he said, the markets cannot go higher from these level.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with natural gas producer
chairman, president and CEO, Mike Watford, about the rising price of natural gas stocks amid falling natural gas commodity prices.
Watford said that Ultra is perhaps the only company that can make money with gas prices at such low levels, given that his company is focused on profitable growth, and not just growth at any cost. He explained Ultra is focused exclusively on costs, sticking to higher-margin onshore development instead of riskier offshore exploration.
Regarding the higher stock prices of many gas producers, Watford said we're about to see a change of heart in Washington, with Congress finally recognizing the benefits of natural gas as a bridge fuel towards wind, solar and other alternative energy sources.
Watford also commented on the state of natural gas in country, saying that with new pipelines coming online in November and others in the next 18 to 24 months, the rich supply of gas from the Rocky Mountains will finally be able to reach both the East Coast and the West Coast, providing affordable availability nationwide.
Cramer said Ultra Petroleum is the most consistent grower in the oil patch and called Watford "the real deal." He said he's a buyer of Ultra.
Cramer continued his search for the king of discount retailers by examining the stock of
, a company that beat Wall Street estimates by 5 cents a share and recently raised its guidance. Shares of Big Lots are up 50% year to date.
Cramer said Big Lots is definitely in the running for the title of "discount king" given how upbeat the company's management was on its conference call. He said unlike fellow discounter
, Big Lots does not focus on apparel but has a broad mix of products from consumables to electronics to seasonal items.
With same-store sales on the rise and inventory down 4% in it's most recent quarter, Cramer said Big Lots clearly is doing things right. The company boasts 40% gross margins while TJX delivers margins of only 25%. With advertising and real estate prices at record lows, Big Lots is also poised for growth and expansion, he said. The stock trades at juts 12.5 times its earnings, far below premium discounters like
Am I Diversified?
Cramer played "Am I Diversified" with callers to see if their portfolios have what it takes. The first caller's portfolio included
Cramer said Ebay and Dell are both tech stocks and he'd throw out Dell.
The second caller's top holdings included
Cramer said this portfolio has everything he wants to see in a portfolio, great stocks and high dividends.
The third caller had
as their top five stocks.
Cramer said this portfolio was also properly diversified.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
Cramer will reveal his "king" of discount retail on Friday.
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long eBay, Goldman Sachs, Gilead Sciences, BP, Home Depot.
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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