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"Fear, not facts or fundamentals, is what's driving this market," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday.
He warned that while the selling might not be over, investors will miss some opportunities of a lifetime if they stay too negative.
The fear in the markets today reminded Cramer of the great market crashes on 1987 and 1990. However, citing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, he told viewers that the only thing they need to fear, is fear itself. He said that while everyone is worried about the system and has no confidence in the system, ultimately the system will emerge again.
In times like these, said Cramer, it's wise to return to the fundamentals and look for solid companies with good long-term outlooks. "We are not a bankrupt country with bankrupt companies," he said. "Keep your powder dry and wait for the opportunities to emerge."
Cramer reminded viewers that after the crash of 1987, every stock on the most active list before the crash was higher a year later. He said that today is likely not the bottom for this market, but there will be a time to buy again soon. "Don't stay negative forever," he said.
Cramer: I'm Buying GE Now
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Making Some Headway
"We are better off today than we were yesterday," Cramer told viewers. Despite the market's huge selloff, he took a moment to talk about what went right today.
Cramer said that the surprise bailout of
is big news for the markets.
Yesterday, he said, we were worried AIG was going under. Today, we know it's going to be OK. Yesterday, we were worried about other banks failing as a result of AIG. Today we don't have to worry as much. Today, another one of the market's 'black holes' has been filled.
Cramer also said the SEC's announcement of new rules against relentless short selling is big news for the markets. He credited chairman Christopher Cox with making a good first step in undoing the damage caused by short selling and urged the commissioner to at least "try" reinstating the uptick rule, which is designed to prevent short sellers from pummeling a stock.
Cramer reiterated that today is not the bottom for stocks and said some companies like
could rally as the market begins to stabilize and the new SEC rules take effect.
A Silver Lining
Even on bad days, there are still great companies reporting great quarters, said Cramer.
He spoke with Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of one such company,
, a stock which he owns for his charitable trust
Action Alerts PLUS, about the company's quarter and its future outlook.
Powell said General Mills delivered another one-two punch with their focus on productivity and strong innovation. He said that the company's productivity offsets inflation and its strong innovation and brand building also helped protect margins.
Powell dispelled rumors that consumers are "trading down" for generic brands. He said the only trend General Mills has seen is people making few trips to restaurants and more trips to the grocery store.
Regarding international sales, Powell said General Mills is only in the third inning of its growth strategy. With only 25% of the company's sales coming from abroad, Powell said there is still a long runaway in front of the company.
Powell characterized General Mills as a safe, resilient company that is enjoying broad-based success.
Am I Diversified?
Cramer talked with callers about their portfolios. The first caller's portfolio included
Proctor & Gamble
Cramer said Chesapeake and Exxon were two energy plays and advised selling one and picking up a healthcare or staying in cash until the market volatility calms down.
The second caller's top holdings included
( ESLR) and
Bank Of America
Cramer said this portfolio had too much speculation with Evergreen and Constellation. He recommended selling Constellation for a defense stock.
Cramer was bullish on
Clean Energy Fuels
He was bearish on
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Cisco, 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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