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NEW YORK (
) -- "Today was just another opportunity to get out of this horrible market," Jim Cramer told his
TV show viewers on Monday.
He said that negativity has reached an all-time high, and he has a 10-point plan for taking stock prices higher.
1. Bring back the leaders. Cramer said the leaders need to get back from vacation, including those in the U.S., Europe and China.
2. Bank stocks need to head higher. Cramer said without the bank stocks, which are still heavily owned, the markets can't head meaningfully higher.
3. Tech seasonality ends. Cramer said tech stocks need to be able to report even inline numbers and head higher. He said they're not there yet.
4. More mergers and acquisitions. Cramer said nothing screams out that companies are too cheap than a good merger.
5. Lower stock and gold prices. Stocks still have more to fall, and gold needs to retreat from recent highs.
6. Europe steps up its game. Cramer said the markets won't head higher without more reforms from Europe
7. Brent crude falls below $100 a barrel. With Libya on the brink of collapse and new margin requirements, crude oil might begin to fall soon.
8. China stops raising rates. Cramer said China needs to sound the all-clear on rising interest rates in that country.
9. Euro gets a makeover. Cramer said the euro cannot survive in its current form, and even reforms that lead to a recession are better than no reforms at all.
10. More 52-week highs. Cramer said the market leaders need to return so investors can rally behind at least a few names.
Cramer said without movement on these issues, the markets are doomed to continue to duke it out in violent fashion.
Great Deals Spur Demand
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Christopher Loughlin, CEO of
, a stock that got pummeled 30 points when it reported a nine-cent-a -hare earnings miss on weak sales. Since then, Travelzoo has announced an aggressive stock buyback program in an attempt to rescue its shares.
Loughlin said he's still very happy with what Travelzoo is accomplishing, and while earnings missed some analysts' expectations, sales were up 34% year over year. He said that Travelzoo is making money, not losing it, and its stock represents a great value, which is why the company is buying back shares at these depressed levels.
Loughlin said some of the reasons for the earnings shortfall included a seven-cent-a-share expense for TV ads to broaden the company's exposure and also the hiring of 100 new employees, a 35% increase to the company's headcount.
When asked about whether a global slowdown would affect company profits, Loughlin reminded viewers that Travelzoo has been around since 1997, and has seen tough times twice before. He said that in the end, it's all about providing great deals. Great deals, he said , spur demand, especially in tough economic times. "Outstanding deals will always perform," said Loughlin.
Cramer said at these levels, with a buyback in place, Travelzoo is now the cheapest company in its universe and is worth a second look.
HP vs. Salesforce.com
When it comes to technology, Cramer said that
is in the past, while
represents the future.
Cramer said it was clear that HP has seen its best days after it reported its horrible numbers and announced that it's shuttering its tablet and smart phone business while looking into strategic options for its lagging PC business. He said the company's other announcement that it's buying a second-rate Salesforce.com clone is further evidence that HP's new CEO is in over his head.
Cramer said these two companies' conference calls couldn't have been more different, with HP describing a "tough outlook," while Salesforce noted that it will "soon exceed its $2.2 billion in revenues" and continue its current growth rate. HP cited problems in the economy, problems with consumer spending and with Japan, while Salesforce was firing on all cylinders and is accelerating its projections.
HP has blown some $13.6 billion in stock buybacks that didn't work, said Cramer, while Salesforce has been investing in its business. He noted HP's $1.2 billion purchase of Palm less than a year ago and all of the money the company spent developing and marketing its now discontinued tablets and phones.
So why then are shares of Salesforce trading near 52-week lows? Cramer said it's because the market is prone to mistakes and doesn't know what to do with Saleforce.com. He said shares of Salesforce will likely continue to head lower with the markets, but the decision should be clear that Salesforce is the future and HP has been left in the tech wasteland.
In this viewer feedback segment, Cramer followed up on
, a stock that stumped him in an earlier show. Cramer said Prospect's 4.8% yield is a red flag, as the company is paying out more than it earns.
He instead recommended his old faithfuls of
Cramer said that
is not his favorite way to play copper. He said he would rather been in a copper producer like
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
Cramer also clarified that
will earn between $5.50 and $5.80 per share of free cash flow in 2011, more than enough to pay its dividend, but he still prefers rival
which pays an 8.5% dividend and offers more consistency.
When asked about
, Cramer said that the streaming business has become a commodity and streaming stocks are not working in this bad market. He said Akamai and
are both in a tough business.
When asked about gold miner
, Cramer said the gold stocks are starting to come back and he would not sell them, but he still likes the
SPDR Gold Shares
Finally, when asked whether investing in preferred shares is a good investment, Cramer said preferred shares are often confusing but there are some good ones out there.
Cramer was bullish on
Enterprise Products Partners
Philip Morris International
He was bearish on
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said in a world of weak currencies, investors need to own a strong one, gold. Cramer said gold is the perfect hedge against economic chaos and despite its meteoric rise, gold is still largely a hated asset class.
Cramer once again touted the
SPDR Gold Shares
for up to 10% of investors' portfolios, especially ahead of September, which has traditionally been strong for gold.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Freeport McMoRan.
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.