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NEW YORK (
) -- "I'm not wildly optimistic; I'm mildly opportunistic," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his
TV show Wednesday, as he opined on another rough and wild day on Wall Street.
Cramer said he's neither a bull nor a bear in this market, but he is looking for bargains.
Cramer said he cannot tell investors to "buy the dip" with a oil rich country like Libya in question. He said sky-high gas prices act like a tax on the American consumer, and is perhaps the only thing that can derail our economic recovery.
instead Cramer said he looked at the tape from the last time oil surged over $100 a barrel, in July 2008, to see how stocks behaved.
Cramer determined that in the month leading up to the peak in oil prices, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 10%, consumer stocks tanked by 17%, technology stocks lost 13% and industrial names fell by 10%. That means that stocks today can still fall further before becoming a buying opportunity.
There are opportunities, Cramer said, in the energy sector, as well as in gold. Cramer continued to recommend that 20% of investors' portfolios be in the precious metal. He said when a company like
, which reported a terrible quarter, is going higher, you know there's a bull market.
Cramer said investors can also look into high-yielding stocks, with yields over 5.5% that also have growth. He's also a buyer of stocks that have already fallen 10% to 12% on this decline. He said stocks like
, which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, are great values because they're already down big.
Riding the Smartphone Wave
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jim Taiclet, chairman, president and CEO of
, a wireless infrastructure company that manages 34,000 cell towers around the globe. American Tower recently reported a one-cent-a share earnings miss, but Cramer called the company a growing cash flow story.
Taiclet said the excitement surround smartphones is accelerating the need for carriers to build out and upgrade their networks. He said as that happens, American Tower benefits from both increased rent rates and the leasing of more space for more equipment.
Taiclet was also bullish on increased competition from lesser known carriers like
. He said American Tower provides smaller players fair prices, and shares in their success as they grow.
Turning to the rest of the world, Taiclet was optimistic on the company's entrance into Colombia, where 1,000 tower sites are planned, as well as in India and Brazil, where growing voice and data networks are in the works. American Tower is also a leading player in Africa, a continent that is essentially skipping land lines and moving right to wireless technologies.
Finally, when asked whether the company is converting itself into a real estate investment trust, Taiclet said the company has not decided, but if it does, American Tower will be an excellent growth plus yield story.
Cramer continued to recommend American Tower.
Growth in Mexico
Cramer once again spoke with Michael Johnson, chairman and CEO of
, whose stock is up 88% since Johnson last appeared on the show in November, 2009.
Johnson said he's very excited with the growth in Mexico, where Herbalife's products are now way more accessible and where the company's concept and products are a big hit. Johnson also said that he sees Brazil as a big growth opportunity for Herbalife, while he's cautious regarding China, which he sees as a longer-term story.
When asked why Herbalife is not recognized as a weight loss company, like
, Johnson said that Herbalife operates more quietly than Weight Watchers, and doesn't buy national TV air time because it doesn't need to. He said Herbalife is a more personalize business, but one that's still just getting started.
Johnson explained that when it comes to his company's quarterly reports, the metric to watch is the retention rate of its sales leaders, the largest of its distributors. He said that Herbalife's retention rate of these leaders is now 48.9%, whereas it was only 23% a decade ago. Johnson said this means that people are successful selling Herbalife, and they stay that way.
Finally, when asked how many jobs his company has created over the years, Johnson replied "millions." Cramer continued his endorsement of Herbalife.
Am I Diversified?
Cramer played "Am I Diversified" with callers to see if their portfolios have what it takes. The first caller's portfolio included
iShares Silver Trust
Cramer identified a dreaded three of a kind with Apache, Schlumberger and Clean Energy all being in the energy space. He said this portfolio needed a financial stock and a healthcare company.
The second caller's top holdings included
Northern Oil & Gas
Bank of America
Cramer said this portfolio was properly diversified.
The third caller had
as their top five stocks.
Cramer said this portfolio was exactly what he was looking for.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer gave three cheers for QE2, the
's controversial program that Cramer said is saving thousands of companies from going bankrupt.
Cases in point, HCA, Archstone and Freescale Semiconductor, three companies that will soon once again come public after flirting with disaster over the past few years.
Cramer said these companies snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and should be applauded, along with Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, for helping to keep tens of thousands of jobs alive in our country.
--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Fluor.
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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