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Jim Cramer took up the protracted debate over the market's bottom on his his Mad Money TV show Friday.
Cramer said he is not taking sides in the debate, trying instead to remain flexible.
Noting there are arguments both for and against calling a bottom in the stock market, he emphasized just having the debate itself is a good sign.
On the upside, Cramer cited the
PHLX Housing Sector Index
. "This home building index won't go down, despite the fact home builders are reporting horrible numbers," he said. "When you get bad news and nothing happens, that's a bottom."
On the downside, he pointed out, there are still many bearish arguments, including the weakening dollar and consumer confidence. While home prices may be stabilizing in some areas of the country, they continue to weaken in others.
Cramer said he's looking to
, both of which report next week, for clarity on the real state of the housing market.
Overall, Cramer told viewers that he's sticking with the same long-term themes he's discussed over the past few weeks. And that they are international infrastructure, oil and natural gas, mining and minerals, and defense stocks. He also likes his "new technology" companies that are making real solutions for real problems.
"From where I'm sitting the debate is mute," said Cramer. "Bottom or no bottom, I'm sticking with what works."
Cramer Interviews ComScore CEO
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An Infrastructure Play on Wind Power
For speculation Friday, Cramer turned to his favorite form of alternative energy, wind power, recommending
as a stock investors need to own.
Cramer said MasTec mainly builds infrastructure for the telco and energy industries, but it also has a budding wind power business that's gaining momentum.
He favorably compared MasTec to his favorite infrastructure companies in the oil industry, including
Cramer said the Street sees MasTec for what is it today and not what it could become. Currently, 74% of the company's revenues come from home installations of satellite TV, cable and telco services like
FiOS service. While this a good, solid business for the company, Cramer sees the real opportunities in wind.
MasTec's wind business grew rapidly last quarter to $45 million, accounting for 17% of the company's overall revenue. Cramer predicted that number could double. The company, which has a $1.4 billion backlog of work to be done, trades at just 10 times its forward earnings.
Cramer said at just above $10 a share, MasTec is just too cheap. He feels that in five years, the company will be thought of as a wind play first, with only a sideline telco business. He said the stock is a buy at under $11 a share.
The Boom in Internet Advertising
Cramer talked with Gian Fulgoni, chairman of
, to help decipher the company's recent report on advertising traffic at Internet giant
Fulgoni explained that since Google does not provide earnings guidance to analysts, the company is often desperate for any information about the company. This is why Fulgoni believes that many analysts misread Comscore's recent traffic report on Google, which only included domestic traffic and not international traffic.
He said that while domestic click-thru's are flattening, Google continues to see growth overseas.
Fulgoni also described Internet advertising as healthy overall. He said the online advertising business is on fire. He noted advertisers are increasingly finding they can get more bang for their buck online and often at less cost than traditional advertising.
In a tightening economy, he felt advertisers would rely on the Web even more.
For investors looking for a great turnaround story, Cramer recommended
Packaging Corp of America
, the sixth largest producer of cardboard and containerboard in the U.S.
According to Cramer, the worst is now over in the container business. He said that things are improving and now's the time to buy.
Cramer said he likes Packaging Corp. because supplies of container board continue to be tight. With
recent acquisition of
container board business, Cramer said supplies are likely to tighten even further.
In a commodity business, Cramer always looks for the lowest-cost, highest-margin producer, and Packaging Corp fits that description.
Packaging Corp uses only 23% of the higher priced recycled materials in its products compared to the industry average of 51%. Cramer said that while this may not be environmentally friendly, it makes PKG the cheapest producer out there.
The company also uses far less natural gas in its production, giving it additional cost savings.
With a 5.1% dividend yield and a $110 million stock buyback program that accounts for 4% of the shares outstanding, Cramer said investors can't go wrong.
Packaging Corp trades at just $4 off its 52-week low, but Cramer thinks the stock could rise to $33 a share on any turn in the economy.
Cramer was bullish on
Cramer was bearish on
Jim Cramer writes about all the stock trades in his charitable trust for TheStreet.com in Action Alerts Plus. Recent stocks he's traded in this account include Schering-Plough (SPG) - Get Report, Yamana Gold (AUY) - Get Report and Inverness Medical( IMA).
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At the time of publication, Cramer was not long on any stock.
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