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NEW YORK (
) -- "Europe is giving us another chance to buy stocks cheap," Jim Cramer told the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday.
He said the financial woes in Greece are an opportunity to buy U.S. stocks.
Cramer explained that while a faltering Euro and stronger dollar negatively impacts the largest of international corporations, there are far more positive things happening at home that outweigh any damage Europe could possibly cause. "If health care didn't take down stocks, Greece sure isn't," he exclaimed.
So what's going right in the U.S.? Cramer said today's terrific employment number for starters. He said the unexpected drop in unemployment claims is just what the U.S. needs, as employment fixes a whole host of economic ailments.
He also pointed out the strength in
, which reported strength in all of its categories, which was great news for
, along with
, three stocks which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
There's also strength in
, said Cramer. And that's great news for
, another Action Alerts PLUS stock, along with
and a host of others.
Then there's the banks. He said the banks shed their international assets long ago, which means those stocks only care about bad loans and unemployment, both of which are finally peaking.
According to Cramer, this is all good news for
Bank of America
, two more Action Alerts Plus stocks, and
Finally, Cramer said
strong earnings bode well for the rest of technology.
With so much going right in the markets, Cramer said it's wrong to sell U.S. stocks based solely on news from overseas. Things are just going too good here at home to ignore the opportunities.
In the Thursday "Sell Block" segment, Cramer took aim at vitamin giant
and its online rival,
, two stocks which he called extremely dangerous.
Cramer said both names are losers, with their stocks priced for perfection and very little room to grow. He said that on the surface, a $25 billion vitamin market and an aging America might seem like the perfect storm for these two vitamin giants. But, he noted, things aren't always as they appear.
Cramer said that Vitamin Shoppe, which operates 400 stores in 37 states is stretched very thin, and has little room left to expand. The company is nearing saturation and the stock has no catalyst to drive it higher, especially with its current 18 times earnings multiple.
Cramer had a similar outlook for Vitacost, a large online retailer of vitamins. After coming public last September, the company's founder sold every one of his 4.8 million shares just this week. "Kind of makes you think," asked Cramer.
Plus, with no differentiation from other online retailers, Cramer said Vitacost is just waiting to be crushed by larger players like
Cramer said that not every story out there is a great one, and in the case of vitamins, neither story looks to be investable.
Regional Bank Play
"The regional banks are back in style in a huge way," Cramer told viewers as he recommended
, a regional player in Tennessee, as the next big thing in banking.
First Horizon currently operates 180 locations in Tennessee, but is looking to expand as it shores up its balance sheet and repays its government TARP loans. Fortunately for First Horizon, right next door is Georgia, a state riddled with bank failures. Cramer said First Horizon is the perfect acquirer for FDIC-assisted takeovers in Georgia, and such a strategy would make the bank a solid regional powerhouse.
Cramer said that First Horizon is not an "A" student, but more like a "C+" student heading towards a "B+" on their report card. The company has $12.8 billion in deposits and a net interest margin of 3.2%, which is respectable. First Horizon also has only a 2.6% rate of bad loans in its core regional business.
While First Horizon may not be a perfect bank, Cramer said its well capitalized and has only seven analysts rating the stock a buy, with 17 giving it a hold, leaving lots of room for upgrades.
"The worst is over," said Cramer, and that's why First Horizon could be the hottest regional bank out there.
Cramer told a viewer that with the price of natural gas falling, it's a buying opportunity for natural gas companies like
, even though that company is not his favorite in the group.
Cramer was bullish on
He was bearish on
Select Medical Holdings
American International Group
In his closing comments, Cramer said the
is a keeper for the long term, even if in the short term, the stock may have run a little too far.
-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington D.C.
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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple, Intel, Qualcomm, Honeywell, Bank of America, JP Morgan, Teva Pharmaceutical, China Unicom.
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