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Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Feb. 23

Cramer says consumer staples is the only sector that hasn't been unhinged by this market.

This article was originally published Feb. 23

Click here for an archive of Jim Cramer's Mad Money recaps.

"The supermarket aisles are the only place to hide," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday.

On yet another chaotic market day, he said consumer staples are one group that's not coming unhinged.

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Cramer said it's a simple matter of supply and demand. As money flows out of other sectors, it needs to flow somewhere, and through a process of elimination, consumer staples are the only sector left standing.

He acknowledged that consumer staple stocks may not be done going down, but they're going down far less than everything else.

He said it would be suicidal for money managers to start a position in the financials. He said the early-cycle stocks won't work with unemployment so high. Meanwhile, autos, he said, are untouchable, and the machinery and steel stocks lost their luster when the stimulus bill passed with no significant outlay for infrastructure.

That leaves only retail, which is getting stretch thinner and thinner, said Cramer, and the REITs, which have no defenses against the onslaught. Technology, he said , is also getting attacked from all sides. Even the utilities, he said, are lowering dividends, making them undesirable.

Cramer said gold remains his favorite sector in the market, but he cautioned that even in a horrible market, investors can't have just gold in their portfolio.

The list goes on, said Cramer. Healthcare is getting rocked by new Medicare rules, and even the mighty biotechs are finding the easy money's already been made.

Cramer: Buy Oil

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And so there are only the consumer staples, said Cramer, the only sector that thrives in this environment. These companies, he said, have rock solid balance sheets, have raw costs moving in their favor, love plummeting advertising and are jumping with joy over lower gas and transportation prices.

Oil's Comeback

"Hard assets keep their value in times of turmoil," Cramer told viewers. That's why he remains a huge supporter of gold producer

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In addition to gold, Cramer said there's another asset that's about to get its day in the sun: crude oil.

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Cramer said the historic plummet in oil prices from $147 a barrel to $33 a barrel is largely assumed to be from demand destruction and over supply, but this notion isn't entirely true.

He said that price manipulation by hedge funds also played a large part in the rise and fall of the commodity. And with hedge funds now selling in record numbers, the price of oil has become artificially low.

But Cramer said there's a lot more to like with oil. OPEC is set to reduce supply next month, which should also help stabilize the price. China, he said, will also play a huge factor, as its economy is poised to be the first to recover.

Cramer said oil will be a big theme in 2009, and he likes


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, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,

Action Alerts PLUS, as the way to play the recovery. BP, he said, is the integrated oil company that will do the best due to its low cost production and its monster 8.6% dividend yield.

Sticking With Devon

Continuing with his oil and natural gas theme, Cramer welcomed

Devon Energy

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chairman and CEO Larry Nichols to the show to discuss his company's outlook and sometimes complicated financials.

Nichols said Devon's slumping share price is being caused by investors only looking at the short-term weakness of natural gas, and not at the company's long- term value. He said natural gas prices will quickly rebound, and when the market return, Devon will be ready to take advantage.

Nichols attributed the volatility in the company's earnings to the fact that the SEC does not allow the company to account for its reserves in accordance with current market conditions. But he said new rules, which take effect in 2010, will allow the company to eliminate the volatility and provide more accurate and stable earnings results.

Nichols went on further to explain why he feels Devon's share price has been lagging that of its peers. He said the company mitigates risk different than its peers, not through hedging, but rather by maintaining a strong balance sheet and a portfolio of the best properties available. Nichols said that all of Devon's long-term projects are on-going, even if they're not generating cash this year.

Cramer said he continues to stand behind Devon.

Outrage of the Day

Cramer once against sounded off against what he called "the ETF of mass destruction," the ProShares UltraShort Financial Fund, trading under the symbol "SKF." He said he's already shown how this fund doesn't work and why it has no reason to exists. But this time he said he's taking issue with the fund for another reason.

By his estimates, he said the fund wields a staggering $18 billion worth of selling pressure on the financials, the same stocks the Treasury Department is trying to save on a daily basis. With this constant selling pressure, the fund is only making it harder for the financials to raise capital and save themselves and shifting the burden onto the taxpayers.

Cramer said the fund is costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, as the Treasury works against the fund to save our financial system. He again called for an immediate ban of the fund. "This vicious cycle has to stop," he said.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on


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Research In Motion




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Goldman Sachs

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He was bearish on





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Check out the latest edition of

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Wal-Mart, Caterpillar, Goldman Sachs and BP.

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."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

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 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, 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.