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" Is this just another rally in a bear market or has something changed," Jim Cramer asked viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday.
He said that while some things did indeed change, not enough changed to offer a sustained market rally.
According to Cramer, there were three causes for the Dow to soar 276 points. The first was
, which not only reported a better-than-expected results, but also raised its dividend. Cramer said this showed investors that not all banks are in trouble. "Wells Fargo is a survivor bank that can go buy up the bad banks," he said.
The second cause was oil prices, which don't seem to be able to break the $150 a barrel level. "This means consumers won't see gas over $5 a gallon," he said.
Finally, Cramer credited
for part of the market's rally with its surprisingly good quarterly results.
Despite these positive notes, Cramer said the country needs his three-part plan to get the American Dream back on track. For a permanent bull market, he said the country doesn't need a recession, a strong dollar or lower taxes.
Instead, he said, it needs the creation of a resolution mortgage trust to bail out the financial sector. With just a $300 billion bond issue of two-year notes, the federal government could buy all of the bad loans for around 70 cents on the dollar.
The next step would be to scrap ethanol. Cramer advocated repealing the Illinois/Iowa Corn Ethanol Mandate, which currently converts 30% of the nation's corn crop into just 3% of its energy needs. If this were done, there would be a 50% reduction in food costs, he said.
Cramer: How I'd Save the Banks
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The final step is to emphasize natural gas. He said that the U.S. has discovered huge amounts of natural gas recently and with gas 50% cheaper than oil, it's the cleanest, safest and most abundant fuel alternative.
With just the stroke of a pen, Cramer said the government could make natural gas the fuel of choice, create jobs and spark the entire economy.
Back on Track
and its incumbent CEO Michael Ward have been in a battle with hedge fund TCI over control of the company's board. Cramer said it now appears that TCI has the upper hand, and he's not happy with the outcome.
Despite the proxy fight, Cramer said he still likes the company's fundamentals, which are being driven by high demand, resulting in increased revenues in eight out of 10 of the company's markets.
CSX is a long-time favorite of Cramer. It is currently up 186% since it was first mentioned on March 22, 2005.
Ward returned to the show to talk about the quarter and the continuing battle for the company's board of directors.
Ward said business is strong at CSX, with earnings per share up 25% for the quarter and 75% of the company's key markets up on revenue. Ward said that housing does not take up as big a portion of the company's portfolio as it did previously.
Ward said the volume of coal shipments has not declined at CSX. He said export demand remains strong and domestic utilities will begin adding reserves of coal in the third quarter.
Regarding the battle with TCI, Ward said the hedge fund has indicated that if it is successful in replacing board members, it wants to work with existing management. Regardless of the outcome, Ward said he'll remain focused on creating shareholder value.
Cramer said he's sticking with Ward and CSX.
A Retail Hero
Cramer regularly takes the pulse of the American economy by talking to CEOs in consumer sensitive areas.
In this regard, he talked with Eric Wiseman,
president and CEO.
Wiseman said the company raised both its revenue and earnings per share guidance yesterday. While the U.S. economy is spotty, VF remains strong because of its diversified portfolio of brands and its global reach, he said.
He highlighted several of the company's recent acquisitions as evidence of the company's successful strategy.
Cramer told viewers that VF Corp has the longest running string of earnings beats in retail. He called Wiseman a hero of retail.
Am I Diversified?
Cramer talked with callers about their portfolios. The first caller's portfolio included
Cramer said he prefers
over Visa, but called the portfolio what diversification is all about.
The second caller's top holdings included
Cramer advised selling Denbury in favor of a defense stock, but called this portfolio also diversified.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
Ambac Financial Group
Cramer was bullish on
Thompson Creek Metal
MDU Resources Group
Western Gas Partners
He was bearish on
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At the time of publication, Cramer was not long on any stock.
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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