Call It Austerity Investing

Cramer eschews drink, drug and food stocks in this kind of market.
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Drinks and drugs and foods, oh my! Talk about out-of-favor stocks!

These don't seem to want to move even when the big linemen get in front and throw their weight around.

There was a time when

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

would have popped two, maybe three points when

Merrill Lynch

upgraded it. That would have been the kind of news that would have ignited the cereal maker to new highs.

Instead, it just yawned. The stock moved up 3/8 of a dollar. Heck, where I am from, that's a loss! Talk about being in the dog house. Or how about

Anheuser-Busch

(BUD) - Get Report

? After being on a tear through the 70s, now, even on a benign bond day, this stock couldn't get out of its own way.

Or

Bestfoods

(BFO) - Get Report

, which should be leveraged to a change in Brazil, but seems mired in mayonnaise at the 52 level.

As for the drugs, you have to admit that you could read some of these

Medicare

stories as positive for pharmaceuticals, but the market views this group as a glass 7/8 empty.

What is the market saying? To me, it's signaling that these stocks, so long the "safe" place to be since the big Asian rollover, now are for sale on good days and bad.

That means they are a natural to short on any strength and can't be purchased no matter how weak, until we see signs of a dramatic cooling off in the economy.

That's unlikely, given from what we are hearing from corporate America. Which, again, makes the cyclicals a better place to be.

James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at

letters@thestreet.com.