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NEW YORK (
) -- We need the world's leaders to wake up and realize the European problem is now a global problem, Jim Cramer told his
viewers Friday after a miserable day on Wall Street. Cramer said the markets have given up their gains for the year so the time to act is now.
Make no mistake, the indecision in Europe will cause a global recession, and no one is immune to this crisis. Cramer said he can't blame investors for wanting to sell everything and sit on the sidelines while the world's troubles play out, but socking money away in U.S. Treasuries is not the smartest move.
Cramer said there are still bull markets out there, albeit small ones, and there are still companies immune to Europe's woes. The key is to find them.
That's why on Monday Cramer will be watching for news from the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference. He said presentations from
Johnson & Johnson
could move the needle for those companies, regardless of the European news of the day.
Also on the radar for Monday,
, a company that may finally be feeling the pressure from
. Cramer said any weakness in Dollar General would make Wal-Mart a buy.
, a stock that's gained 60% over the past 12 months. Cramer said Ulta remains a favorite.
On Wednesday, Cramer said he will watch oil inventories as any stabilization in oil would actually be a good thing for the markets because fears of continued economic slowing would evaporate.
On Thursday, Cramer said another retail favorite,
, will report earnings. If Lulu is strong, all of the growth stocks including
Chipotle Mexican Grill
, a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, should rally along with it.
Fun With Speculation
Speculation keeps investing fun, Cramer told viewers, and he highlighted one such stock on what he affectionately called "Speculation Friday." Today's company:
, an auto dealership chain with 84 locations in 11 western states.
Cramer said for investors who are bullish on the American consumer, Lithia is the perfect speculative stock. Lithia is domestic and it's in a fragmented market with tons of room to grow.
In its most recent quarter, Lithia increased its same-store sales by a stellar 22%, with new car sales growing by 25%. Compare that to the next closest competitor,
, which only grew by 12.1%. In addition to sales, Lithia has great margins and is taking market share from its rivals.
Cramer said Lithia clearly knows what works and offers not only sales, but service, financing and insurance, three services with high margins and steady income streams. Service alone accounts for 32% of Lithia's profits.
Despite beating Wall Street expectations by 18 cents a share, Lithia remains the cheapest of all the auto dealership stocks, said Cramer.
But as great as Lithia may be, Cramer said he still cannot recommend the stock given the weak unemployment data received today. Consumers stopped buying cars before, he said, and they may stop again. For investors who are bullish on American growth however, Lithia "may be the stock for you."
Circling the Wagons
In a terrible market, it pays to circle the wagons around recession-resistant company you can count on, Cramer said. Investors can't just invest for today, they must invest in the bargains that are being created, the stocks with high yields that will snap back quickly.
That's why Cramer recommended Johnson & Johnson, a once-hated company that now sports a new CEO and a 4% dividend yield. Cramer said that J&J is now a potential breakup story as the company is actually three businesses in one.
According to a recent research report, J&J could split itself into a pharmaceutical company, a consumer products company and a medical devices company, thus unlocking $76 a share worth of value, a 23% premium from today prices. Breakups in health care work, Cramer reminded viewers, as evidenced by
, another Action Alerts PLUS holding, as well as
But even without a breakup, Cramer said he's a believer in new CEO Alex Gorsky. He said a fresh set of eyes can do wonders at a company and Gorsky, a long-time J&J employee, will know his way around. Unlike other drug makers, Johnson & Johnson is largely past its wave of patent expirations, said Cramer, and the company has a slew of new drugs set to power future growth.
So as the market puts great stocks on sale, Cramer advised viewers to load up the truck on safe dividend stocks like Johnson & Johnson, ones that could surprise with plans to unlock even more value from their company.
Here's what Cramer had to say about callers' stocks during the "Lightning Round":
: "Sell, sell, sell."
MarkWest Energy Partners
: "These are all in free-fall. It's a good time to buy but realize that your first buy won't be your last."
: "It's up and up nicely with a nice yield. I'll take it."
: "Another bull market stock but I want to ring the register and take profits."
Hertz Global Holdings
: "The stock is down a lot already so I will bless buying a little here and more under $10."
In the "Mad Mail" viewer feedback segment, Cramer told a viewer that he's not a fan of
and would buy
iShares Silver Trust
Cramer also said that he's still a fan of the
SPDR Gold Shares
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said that if investors like bonds, they should love
, the New York-based utility with a 4% yield.
Cramer said U.S. Treasury bonds may be considered "risk-free" but the fact is these bonds are paying investors the least they've ever been paid at a time when our government's finances are the worst they've ever been.
Compare that to ConEd, a utility that, while not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, is backed by millions of customers who don't want their lights to go out. Cramer said ConEd pays 2.5 times that of Treasuries, has the ability to raise that payout and gets better tax treatment than bonds.
Couple all these benefits with the fact that ConEd also has tons of growth ahead of it and Cramer said there can be no argument that compared to U.S. Treasuries, investing in ConEd is clearly the better bet.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had positions in AAPL and ABT.
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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Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.