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NEW YORK (
) -- There's a great divide brewing in America and it's not just a political one, Jim Cramer told
Every day in the markets the bulls and the bears are duking it out to win the hearts and minds of investors, and there seems to be little hope for a compromise. Cramer identified six such battlegrounds.
The first battleground is employment, with the bears crying foul over recent upticks in hiring but the bulls seeing some reasons for hope and buying into retail stocks such as
The second battle is over the looming fiscal cliff. The bears see it as an unsurmountable Everest, but the bulls view it more as a bump in the road. Then there's the battle over where corporate earnings are headed in 2013. The bears cite
and its two guide-downs, but the bulls look to FedEx's positive comments for 2013 and beyond.
Next is China, said Cramer, where
continues to disappoint, but also offered some glimmer of hope that things will improve in late 2013. There's also been a battle on the mergers and acquisitions front, and countless initial public offerings have been closing below their openings and drifting lower thereafter. But the bulls saw this trend end today with a handful of prominent IPOs that all closed higher.
Finally, Cramer said there's a battle over
, a stock he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS. He said that the bears have all sorts of reasons to hate the stock, but the bulls clearly have history on their side.
All of these battles may make the markets seem very confusing, admitted Cramer, which is why he continues to advise proceeding with caution.
Looking for Value
Cramer's always on the hunt for stocks that represent good value, which is why
caught his attention after the stock fell from $17 a share to just $14.65 despite the company's recent announcement that its spinning off its WhiteWave-Alpro organic food division.
Cramer said Dean Foods is a classic case of a company being worth less than the sum of its parts. But in this case he doesn't need to speculate on what could happen in the event of a spin-off because the company has already announced not one, but two.
In addition to the WhiteWave spinoff, which is already in process, Dean Foods also announced on Sept. 26 that it's seeking a buyer for its Morningstar division, which makes, among other things, coffee creamers for restaurants.
Adding up the value for both WhiteWave and Morningstar as well as the remaining Dean Foods business, Cramer said the company is worth at least $20 a share, a full 40% more than where it closed Thursday.
While some analysts have been bearish on Dean, given the rising price of milk, Cramer said the more important question is how much value this company can unlock by spinning off its highly valuable assets. He said it's clear that in its current form these gems are lost within the larger company.
For the next installment of his "annointed stocks," Cramer featured two more names he said will be hot on money managers' minds through the rest of the year:
, a stock that's up 67% for the year; and liquor giant
, which is up 30% so far this year.
When you're selling a home you buy paint, and when you're buying a home you buy more paint. That's why as the housing market recovers, Sherwin keeps selling more and more paint.
The company last reported a 9% uptick in sales and a 13.9% increase at its stores. It continues taking market share and cutting costs, which is why Cramer said it deserves more than 19.2 times given its 16% growth rate. Of the analysts currently covering Sherwin-Williams, only three rate it a buy, with 12 holds and another three sells.
Then there's Diageo, a company with a fantastic stable of brands, including seven of the top 20 liquors out there. Diageo also sports a 3% dividend and has less exposure to Europe, but more exposure to the red-hot emerging markets. Cramer said at 15.5 times earnings and a 10% growth rate, Diageo still trades for well less than its rivals
Here's what Cramer had to say about callers' stocks during the "Lightning Round":
MarkWest Energy Partners
: "That's a good one. I think that stock should be owned."
: "I think that Salesforce is doing very well. "
: "I like it. It's a good spec."
: "This stock is a great spec, but if their CEO would come back on the show I'd like it even more."
: "Verizon is under pressure from
. When it gets to a 5% yield, pull the trigger. They've got competition now. "
: "Duke is fine. I like Duke. The yield is safe and the dividend can grow higher."
: "A lot of people giving up on ConEd but they're a good stock and I'll bless it."
: "I think it's a commodity business and I don't want to own it. It's played out. "
: "I think it can go back to $23 but I don't like their growth prospects as much as
: "This one has been going down. Just lay and wait and then go for the multi-year turn."
In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Sam Susser, chairman and CEO of
, a subsidiary of
, which owns and operates 550 convenience stores and gas stations in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana. Susser Petroleum currently sports a 7.2% yield.
Susser explained that the gas station business tends to have volatility because of swings in fuel margins, so the company's parent, Susser Holdings, decided to spin off Susser Petroleum as a master limited partnership to provide investors a way to invest in the stable, consistent side of the business.
Susser explained that his company's success is not dependent on the price of gasoline but the volume of gas it ships, which is dependent on the number of locations operated by its parent as well as some third-party customers. That said, Susser, the parent, hopes to open 26 new locations this year with another 28 to 35 planned for next year.
When asked about natural gas, Susser said his company will have six stations pumping natural gas within the next six months as a test of the market. He said his company is also committed to expanding its distribution over time.
Cramer said that the little-known Susser is exactly the kind of high-yield opportunity he seeks.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer gave his opinion on news that Sprint Nextel may be entering into a deal with Japan's
Cramer said that while no one knows exactly what will happen, both Sprint and
both rallied on the news.
He said Sprint is a keeper, and CEO Dan Hesse has proven himself a very smart man thus far.
Clearwire, however, is a different story, as the company is burdened with so much debt that Sprint would be foolish to buy the 52% of the company it doesn't already own.
Cramer said Clearwire owes billions, which is why he would be a seller of that stock now that it's up 62% on the news.
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, BMY and SBUX.
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.