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NEW YORK (
) -- As the markets flirt with their historic levels from December 1999, Jim Cramer told the viewers of his
TV show Tuesday that it was about time, adding "you ain't seen nothing yet."
Cramer said that although returning to the highs of 1999 is a significant milestone in many investors' eyes, it begs the question: Is it time to sell or double down for the future?
Cramer said he believes it's time for the markets to forge even higher, and as he looks at the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
sector by sector, there's a lot to be excited about.
Take the financials, said Cramer. Can this sector possibly do worse than they have over the last decade? He thinks not. Cramer also sees better times ahead for the drug sector and in packaged goods, where stocks are trading at historically low multiples, making them cheaper than they've ever been.
Technology is another bright spot. He said the techs never fully recovered from the dot-com crash of 2001, and they too are cheap based on next years' forecasts.
Things are also looking up for the diversified manufacturers with worldwide demand ramping up after a two-year slide. Even retail, said Cramer, cannot do as badly as they have been over the past few years.
Then there's the oil patch. With oil trading at $90 a barrel and only forecast to go higher, he finds it difficult to believe optimistic about the performance of oil stocks over the coming decade.
With so many sectors having so much to look forward to, Cramer said it won't be long before the markets surpass their 1999 levels and soar into uncharted territory.
Top Apparel Pick
When it comes to apparel stocks, Cramer said there are four great companies that come to mind. They include
, all stocks Cramer has recommended in the past. But which one holds the most promise? Cramer pitted the four against each other to find out.
Cramer said when it comes to distribution, Deckers wins the prize. The company's products are sold in multiple high-end retailers as well as online. Under Armour and Columbia also have wholesale models, but to date are not as well represented. Lulu, on the other hand, is mainly a retail player with only 134 outlets for its goods.
Next up, growth. Cramer said here too Deckers wins, as the company is expanding its footwear into new seasons as well as a new men's footwear line. Lulu won the runner up spot with its aggressive store count expansion and increasing same store sales. Lagging behind were Under Armour, with its 21% growth rate, and Columbia, which is still turning itself around.
In the execution category, Cramer said he looks for operating margins, and once again Deckers is on top with 23.9% margins. Coming in second, Lulu at 24.1%, followed by Under Armour at a declining 17.3% margin and Columbia with a 13.5% margin.
Finally, when looking at inventory, Cramer once again gave Deckers the nod, with Lulu, Columbia and this time Under Armour bringing up the rear.
Tallying up the votes, Cramer said Deckers remains his favorite, followed closely by Lulu, then Under Armour and Columbia running a distant third and fourth. Cramer said Deckers also remains the cheapest stock, trading at just 19.1 times its earnings, while Lulu trades at 40 times, Under Armour at 36 times and Columbia at 23 times their growth rates.
Cream of the Crop
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Ken Shreve over the charts of Cramer's F.A.D.S. C.A.N. group of high-growth momentum stocks. The group has collectively been up 18% since Cramer reshuffled the acronym on Nov 2nd.
Among the FADS CAN names, Shreve picked
, a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, as his top pick. Shreve noted that after a big rally in September, shares of Apple have been consolidating, building a base while supporting its 10-week moving average.
Shreve also liked
, whose chart is almost identical to that of Apple, with a breakout followed by consolidation and support from its 10-week moving average.
Cramer said he agreed with Shreve's analysis, saying that Apple and Amazon have the best growth prospects, and unlike
Chipotle Mexican Grill
and the rest of the FADS CAN group, Apple and Amazon have not surged endlessly higher.
Cramer said he's beed greedy on the rest of FADS CAN, and would take profits in the rest of the group, which includes
, Deckers and
TARP Actually Working
In an interview, Cramer spoke with Tim Massed, acting assistant secretary for financial stability at the U.S. Treasury Department, and the man heading up the government's efforts to dispose of its stake in companies like
Cramer said despite getting a bad wrap in the press, the government's TARP bailout and other rescue efforts have actually gone far better than expected. Massad agreed, saying that the lifetime costs of TARP and the government's other packages is just $25 billion, with most of that cost being associated with bailing out homeowners with their mortgages.
Massad said it's not a coincidence that these programs are going so well. He said the speed and force with which the government acted is largely responsible for its success. He said the monies now being collected are being applied directly to the federal deficit, and no one expected such a great return, especailly after just two years.
Massad also noted that without the government's intervention, unemployment could have spiked to a staggering 15% to 25%, leading most certainly to a Great Depression part two.
Massad said the government has a terrific team in place to dispose of its remaining assets in GM, AIG and several banks. He said in each case the government is looking to do what's best for taxpayers and what will maximize the government's return on its investment.
Cramer commended Massad for his efforts to do what's best for taxpayers and also for the companies the government was forced into rescuing.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer commented on the many mergers and acquisitions announced just this week in the health care area. He said that with health care reforms being called into question, it's just too hard for small- and medium size health care companies to navigate the ever- changing waters.
"Only the biggest and strongest will survive," said Cramer.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple.
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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Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.