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The current situation looks a lot like 1990 did at the bottom of one of the worst recessions the market has ever seen, Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday.
Cramer urged investors to take a page out of the playbook he used then, and look for stocks to buy.
In 1990, Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia bought a major stake in
, a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, to make it solvent, he said. This time Abu Dhabi is buying a small stake in the bank.
In a similar vein, the
finds itself in the same situation it was in then, when it realized it had to get involved and ease rates. Moreover, as the financials collapsed over a six-month period in 1990, the
declined 11% and bottomed, Cramer said. Right now the index is down by more than 10%.
During 1990, colossal banks merged, Cramer said. Today, market players learned
Bank of America
is talking about getting together with Citigroup.
All of these signs mean the financials are beginning to bottom now, Cramer said.
"We've been operating on the 1990s playbook for months in Cramerica and we cannot ignore it now," he said. Not everything bottomed in 1990 and not everything will bottom now, but people must get more positive and look for things to buy, Cramer said.
In 1990, Citigroup worked, but right now
, which he also owns for his charitable trust, is the best of the financials and should be bought, Cramer said. People should also consider getting into
Research In Motion
For the short term,
work, he added.
Cramer also said he sees a hidden trend in natural gas. There his favorite plays are
, which he owns for Action Alerts PLUS, Cramer said.
Furthermore, in the video-game arena, he said he likes
"The 1990 playbook hasn't steered us wrong yet," Cramer said. It's time to spend less time worrying about losing money and spend more time looking for opportunities.
Gen-Probe an Exciting Story
If market players want "protection combined with a really long-term trend," the best place to look is diagnostics, Cramer said. "These stocks are the holy grail of defense
and are the ultimate health care-cost containment names out there."
, which has a fast technology for detecting infectious microorganisms, is a diagnostics company Cramer likes.
Recently, the company's trial of a new HPV test was pushed back a quarter, and its food-testing deal with partner
fell apart, Cramer said. Consequently, the stock went from $72 to $65.
Cramer brought on Henry Nordhoff, the CEO of Gen-Probe, to explain what happened with 3M.
"3M is a fantastic company,
but we just had a difference of opinion," Nordhoff said.
After doing some research, 3M believed that when its and Gen-Probe's profits were added to the cost of making the food-testing product, the price point would be too high, the chief said. However, half the food processors in the business hold inventory while they're waiting for test results, and Nordhoff believes these companies would be willing to pay more to offset the cost of food going bad because of delays.
Further, the HPV test has become a problem only because the Food and Drug Administration keeps changing its rules and trying to come up with a gold standard for HPV testing, Nordhoff said.
These two negatives are why the stock has come down, Cramer said, and they already are priced into Gen-Probe. However, the positives of two tests the company has for prostate cancer are not priced in, he said. Therefore, the stock should go up.
Cramer called Gen-Probe "a very exciting" story that is also safe.
Am I Diversified?
During the "Am I Diversified?" game, Cramer's first caller named the following five stocks: Intuitive Surgical,
, a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust.
Cramer suggested the caller get out of Intuitive Surgical or Hologic and pick up a defensive stock instead.
The second caller asked if he was diversified with these five plays:
Bank of America
Sirius Satellite Radio
Cramer said the caller shouldn't have two banks in his portfolio. He advised the caller to sell ING and pick up a defensive play.
The last caller said she owned these five:
Cramer blessed the portfolio as diversified.
During the "Sudden Death" round, Cramer was bullish on
, which he owns for his charitable trust, and AT&T.
He was bearish on
American Oriental Bioengineering
China Nepstar Chain Drugstore
During the "Mad Mail" segment, when an
employee asked if he should keep buying ODP stock as it gets cheaper. Cramer recommended against it and told him to diversify his holdings.
Cramer was bullish on
Blue Coat Systems
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Cramer was bearish on
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Hologic, CVS Caremark, XTO Energy and ConocoPhillips.
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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