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NEW YORK (
) -- Our inferiority complex is blinding us to what's driving stocks higher, Jim Cramer told
viewers Monday. Cramer said too many investors are being thrown off by U.S. worries and aren't looking at the world at large.
While it's true that many investors took President Obama at his word last month and prepared for an economy-shaking, sequester-induced panic, in reality most U.S. companies appear to be holding up fairly well. Small business may be slow to hire because of health-care fears but even the defense stocks -- those levered most to the federal government -- are still at 52-week highs, Cramer noted.
But for all the fears and concerns here at home, Cramer said nothing compares to overseas. The wealthy in Europe are fleeing European banks in favor of the safety and stability of U.S. banks. Meanwhile, in China, the economy is stalling once again, sending investors there looking to U.S. markets as well.
Finally, there's Japan, a country that's adopted a frightening strategy of doing anything it can to jump-start growth, even if it means hyper-inflation. That's sending Japanese investors to U.S. REITs, utilities, drug stocks and anything that's paying a sizable dividend, said Cramer.
So as bad as things may seem here in the U.S., it's easy to see why the rest of the world is helping to buoy our markets. There simply isn't a better place on Earth to invest.
Grabbing an Opportunity
It's clear that
wants to dominate the oil and gas service sector, Cramer told viewers. The company announced today it's buying
( LUFK), sending shares higher by 37% in just a single day.
Cramer said people simply don't' understand how big an opportunity the oil and gas business is in America. He said that currently 9.6 million people are employed by the industry, accounting for a full 8% of GDP and growing rapidly. While fossil fuels may be seen as the enemy, oil and gas are still far cleaner than the alternative, coal, and with jobs so plentiful, why not embrace it for the time being?
Making a larger run at the oil and gas service sector makes perfect sense for GE, said Cramer. Already the company is leading the way with natural gas locomotives, turbines and lot more. Lufkin will be a perfect fit, he said, but there are still other opportunities for GE to acquire.
, currently valued at $12 billion, could be one company that could complement GE's investments and cement its place in the industry.
, along with
are other possibilities.
Cramer reminded viewers that he never recommends a stock on a takeover unless the fundamentals are also strong. In all of these cases, these stocks can make investors a lot of money as oil and gas in America rages on.
Pharma Focus on J&J
After spending the past two weeks highlighting companies in the biotech space, Cramer said he didn't want to give the impression that old-line Big Pharma doesn't have opportunities,too.
So he has kicked off a week-long series starting with
Johnson & Johnson
, a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
With its 3.3% yield, Cramer said J&J is a magnet for international money looking for safety. While the company received a downgrade today, Cramer thinks the report was shortsighted because the company is worth a lot more than the analysts realize.
While Wall Street likes companies that are easy to understand, J&J has become messy, with many different divisions that are begging to be broken up to unlock their true value, Cramer said. Wall Street likes things that are simple; hopefully, J&J can deliver on that front soon.
The Johnson & Johnson Achilles heel has been the company's consumer products division, which has been plagued by issues and recalls. But that division is beginning to clean itself up, said Cramer, while at the same time J&J's pharma division has past its "patent cliff" where many of its biggest drugs lost patent protection.
Cramer said the company still has a strong pipeline of new drugs, including three in Phase III testing. He recommended buying in after earnings, but ahead of J&J's scheduled pipeline review set for May 23.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Cramer was bearish on
Know Your IPO
In the "Know Your IPO" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that just because the IPO market has been red-hot doesn't mean investors should throw money at every IPO that comes along.
Cramer said satellite provider
, which is set to come public next week, is one IPO that investors should avoid. He said the company plans to raise $500 million by offering 21.7 million shares of stock, but the company remains unprofitable and buried under a mountain of debt. The satellite business is also risky, noted Cramer, as 20% of the company's revenue stems from government contracts around the globe.
But then there's
, a home builder primarily operating in Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and California. Cramer said the housing-related IPOs have been on fire so far this year. With housing continuing to recover, this IPO should be no exception. Shares are expected to price between $20 and $22 a share, which would put them at a discount to the average home builder.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, followed up on two of his speculative themes for 2013 -- the airlines and the mortgage insurers.
Cramer said the expected profits for the airlines this year are astounding and
remains his favorite among the group. Meanwhile,
continues to get positive traction from Wall Street as that stock continues to surge higher.
Cramer said while both stocks have run big, don't leave the table just yet. There is still more to come from these two great sectors.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in GE, JNJ, STI and WY.
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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