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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The trend is not your friend in this market because there is no trend, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday after the markets reversed course following yesterday's rally. The market just can't seem to make up its mind as its many cross-currents collide.
Cramer called the market action "maddening" because the earnings estimates for many companies are still too high. He noted that when Intel (INTC) pre-announced a horrible quarter last week, the stock barely moved. Yet, Intel's slowing PC business has negative pin action for the likes of Micron (MU) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) , among a host of others.
Outside of tech, currency woes are still weighing on the auto sector and the airlines fear losing tourism due to a strong U.S. dollar.
Leader vs. Laggard
In a topsy-turvy market like ours, professional money managers are playing the game of leader vs. laggard, and you should, too. Cramer explained how the game works.
First, you take a sector. In this case, Cramer dove into the retail and restaurants groups. Then you compare the leaders in the group to the laggards to figure out which is worth owning.
Among the strongest in the retail group is Urban Outfitters (URBN) , up 26% for the year after a stupendous transformation. Compare that to a laggard, Macy's (M) , which is only up 2.5% in 2015. While Macy's may be the underdog, there's simply no catalyst or reason to own it. That's why Cramer chose to stick with Urban, as momentum often drives the retail sector.
Then there's the matchup between Ross Stores (ROST) and TJX Stores (TJX) , two off-price retailers cashing in big on the recent West Coast port strike. Ross is up 13% while TJX is flat on the year. Here Cramer chose neither stock.
These are the kinds of decisions money managers are making every day, Cramer concluded. Stick with the winners or trade down to the laggards and play catch-up. There's never an easy answer.
Cramer's Brackets: Kentucky, Kansas
Continuing his week-long series looking at the stock market through a basketball-inspired March Madness lens, Cramer dove into the midwest region to see what stocks came to mind.
When thinking about the ever-dominant team of Kentucky, Cramer said Apple (AAPL) , a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, was the right fit. Trading at just 13.7 times earnings, Apple remains a stock to own, not trade.
Next is the Kansas Jayhawks, a chronically underestimated team that reminds Cramer of General Motors (GM) , another Action Alerts PLUS holding and a well-run company trading at just 7.6 times earnings.
When thinking of Notre Dame, Cramer said Starbucks (SBUX) , yet another Action Alerts PLUS holding, is the best fit, as this company is also back in top form. Finally, there is Maryland, the luckiest team in the league, which reminds Cramer of Tesla Motors (TSLA) , the luckiest cult stock in the entire stock market.
Executive Decision: Brett Saunders
Saunders put to rest rumors that Actavis is not interested in research and development. He called R&D the lifeblood of the industry and said the company will continue to discover and bring drugs to market in areas where it has competitive advantages. He called Actavis one of the most productive companies when it comes to inventing new drug formulations.
When asked about Botox, a drug recently acquired when his company bought Allergan, Saunders noted that Botox is now used more for therapeutic reasons than aesthetic, including for migraines and overactive bladder. Actavis is also in Phase II studies for using Botox to treat depression.
Cramer told viewers there is so much more ahead for Actavis, especially after the Allergan acquisition.
In the "Mad Tweets" segment, Cramer responded to questions sent via Twitter to @JimCramer.
Finally, Cramer is not a fan of Yelp (YELP) after the company posted a quarter that was really not that great.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, GM, SBUX and WFC.