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"Am I too negative?" That's the question Jim Cramer asked rhetorically on his "Mad Money" TV Show Monday. His reply: "No, I don't think so."
Cramer said every time the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
bounces off its lows of 8,200, he really wants to be a bull. But then, reality returns and he realizes the bad news is still getting worse, not better.
While the federal bailouts may have prevented everything in the economy from completely falling apart, Cramer said they still haven't addressed the real problem of home price deflation, nor have they created a single new job.
And while falling gas prices may give consumers much needed reprieve, Cramer said the dismal retail sales numbers prove that the consumer is still not spending.
Cramer said the fact of the matter is things aren't really improving. Home builders, he said, are still turning out new homes as fast as they can.
And the fate of
still lingers over the economy like a huge black cloud.
Cramer said the only things that would change his mind on the markets are interest rate cuts in China and Europe, or a resolution to the GM crisis. Until then, he said, "there are just too many negatives out there."
Green Stocks Fade
With the collapse in crude oil prices, Cramer took a hard look at his basket of green stocks to see if his green thesis still holds up in a cheap oil world.
The green basket included such stocks as
Since Cramer first highlighted the green stocks on April 16, 2007, the stocks have enjoyed a 65% gain on average between then and Nov. 6, 2008.
Since Nov. 6, however, as oil and natural gas prices have plummeted, so have their green alternatives. The green basket is now down 37% from April 2007 to today.
Cramer said his green thesis was an trading thesis and not a investment thesis. Green stocks have fallen many many times before, he said, but never as quickly as in recent weeks.
Cramer recounted Jimmy Carter's plan in 1977 to make 20% of the U.S. energy supply renewable energy by 2000. President Ronald Regan, though, dismantled much of the plan when oil prices fell in the 1980s.
Today, the U.S. relies on renewable energy for just 6% of its energy, on par with that of 1977.
Cramer blamed today's fall in green stocks on lower oil prices, as well as forced selling by ailing hedge fund investors.
He said that with President-elect Barrack Obama clearly in the ethanol camp, he sees little chance for a resurgence for the natural gas alternative or in any of the wind or solar plays anytime soon.
Lukewarm on Anadarko
Cramer talked with Jim Hackett, chairman and CEO of
, to get his take on state of his company, and the natural gas industry, given the sharp decline in oil and natural gas prices.
Hackett said while the combination of weakening demand for gas along with big successes in onshore drilling have driven natural gas futures significantly lower, the price of gas today is not as low as he thought it might go. He said he still sees natural gas as the fuel for the future and one that's right for the economy and for the environment.
Hackett said Anadarko has largely protected itself from the downturn by hedging 95% of its production for 2008 and 2009 and 70% of its production for 2010. He said the acquisitions made by the company in 2007 are still economically viable, even at prices lower than that of today.
When asked about the current state of natural gas stocks, Hackett said he sees the market as now being oversold. He predicted the stocks will trade ahead of the coming recovery and represent a great value to shareholders.
Toward that end, Anadarko remains committed to its stock repurchase program, said Hackett, adding his preference for buybacks over increased dividends.
Cramer agreed with Hackett's assessment. He said Anadarko's stock does represent a lot of value, but he fell short of offering his full endorsement.
Outrage of the Day
Cramer took issue with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Instead of going after those responsible for trillions of dollars in bank and investment losses, it took aim today at celebrity investor Mark Cuban for insider trading.
Cramer said if found guilty, Cuban deserves punishment, but called the move by the SEC an amusing sideshow among unprecedented other issues.
Cramer was bullish on
Nordic American Tanker
He was bearish on
Chicago Bridge & Iron
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Foster Wheeler, General Mills.
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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