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NEW YORK (
) -- "When the facts change, you need to change with them," Jim Cramer reminded his
TV show viewers on Wednesday.
He said as the possibility of a U.S. default becomes more and more likely, investors need to prepare for the coming weakness, but also for the inevitable snapback when a debt deal is finally reached.
Cramer distinguished between the two types of default of nation could face next week. The first, he said, probably has 50/50 odds of happening, and that's a technical default, when certain U.S. bills don't get paid on time until a debt agreement is reached. While this "lite" option was unthinkable last week, Cramer said the possibility is now thinkable.
The second type of default is what Cramer characterized as the "nuclear option," a default where the country does not pay its debt and or Social Security checks stop being printed. Cramer said in this case the markets would see a sizable decline, and that decline would continue daily until a deal is finally reached.
So with these two scenarios becoming more and more likely by the day, how should investors prepare? Cramer said he'd be a buyer of high-yielding dividend stocks, for one, and also a buyer of gold as an insurance policy.
He said gold will likely head lower over the coming days and that weakness is a buying opportunity. As for some high-yielders, Cramer liked
American Electric Power
Energy Transfer Partners
Cramer said as the market continues to weaken, he'd also keep an eye out for safety stocks like
along with high-growth names like
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
Later in the crisis, Cramer said investors can also look towards the smokestack cyclical stocks, names like
, another Action Alerts PLS name.
"The nuclear option isn't likely," Cramer reassured viewers, but a little preparedness goes a long way.
North Dakota's Oil Boom
Cramer once again spoke with Senator Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) about the prospects of a U.S. default and also about the oil boom occurring in Conrad's home state of North Dakota.
Conrad said a U.S. default of any kind would be catastrophic, adding the nation needs to get on a more sustainable course with regard to spending and revenue. He said the markets won't look kindly on the country selectively paying its bills and Congress needs to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done.
While it's not always easy to distinguish reality from theater in Washington, Conrad said most of those in the Senate and House realize the consequences of a failure to compromise. He said only a small minority refuses to budge, even a little, and that's where the hold up is. Conrad said the partisanship in Washington is indeed very bad at the moment.
Turning to a brighter topic, Conrad said that his state is very proud to now be the fourth largest oil producing state in the country. He said unemployment in North Dakota is now just 3.2% and his state is just looking for Washington to get out of its way and let U.S. oil make a dent into the $1 billion a day the country sends to OPEC nations. Conrad said infrastructure, including roads and pipelines, will be vital to the continued growth of the American oil renaissance.
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with David Wenner, president and CEO of
, a stock that's up 59% since Cramer first recommended it in October, 2010, but also one that was down 8.9% today as the company delivered what Wall Street saw as an in-line quarter.
Wenner said that B&G spoiled investors by raising their estimates every quarter. He said there was nothing broken with the company this quarter, adding it simply did not raise their targets again. "It was a good quarter," said Wenner, "there was good growth and good revenues."
Wenner dispelled any notion that the company's dividend would be in trouble. He said food companies don't have a cash problem, they have a growth problem, which is why having great brands makes all the difference. Even the company's least performing brands are at the industry average, said Wenner. "They might not be superior brands, but there's no reason to get rid of them," he said.
When asked about cost pressures, Wenner said that packaging is the main issue for B&G. He said it's true that for some products, packaging costs more than what's inside. Jars, cans and plastics are all on the rise, said Wenner. To combat these pressures, B&G has not raised prices however, and instead uses lesser coupon deals and promotions to offset the costs.
Cramer said he's amazed that investors had such a problem with B&G's quarterly results. He said the company is still delivering and he's still a believer in Wenner.
Am I Diversified?
Cramer spoke with callers to see if their portfolios have what it takes. The first caller's portfolio included
Cramer said this portfolio was fabulous.
The second caller's top holdings included
Cramer said this portfolio also has great diversification.
The third caller had
Cramer said this portfolio also has what it takes for a turbulent market.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that accelerating revenue growth is a beautiful thing, and Amazon.com has it in spades.
Cramer said this once forgotten dot-com company was left for dead, scorned and heavily shorted. But now it's clear that the company's investments in customer service and fulfillment have paid off, as the company's growth is once again accelerating, he said.
While Amazon make look expensive by some metrics, Cramer noted that with accelerating growth, Amazon is now a buy and the company may become one of the great growth stories of all time.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, Cummins
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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