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With the prospect of
filing for bankruptcy looming this week, it might be the moment for the keepers of the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
to do the housekeeping that we all know is coming. We know they don't allow bankrupt companies in the Dow. We also know they don't like single-digit companies. That means
Bank of America
could follow GM out the door.
So four slots are up for grabs. The financials are relatively easy. In place of Bank of America will most likely be
, which, at $66 billion --even as it falls rapidly -- still has some heft. The keepers of the Dow could go one of two ways for Citigroup, either choosing to view it as an international banking concern, which would mean that
is the pick, or as an international transaction machine, which means
gets the nod. Both are capitalized at about $48 billion, so that is six of one, a half dozen of the other.
General Motors and Alcoa are tougher. They are industrial companies, but the biggest industrial companies that aren't in the Dow don't really fit the mode. You could add
at $68 billion, but then you would have three oils, something you would like to do with oil at $135, not $35. You could choose to think New Economy and pick
at $112 billion or
at $89 billion -- both make sense.
, with an $88 billion capitalization, surely belongs in the Dow as a consumer goods play
a tech play. It is a natural.
, at $74 billion, could fit in if the keepers thought that Google was too new or too concentrated in its holdings. They are all more deserving than Alcoa, believe me. You would be way heavy on tech, but I think that's right, given how representative it is of the economy as we all see it. You could go pure industrial, which would bring back
, which never should have been kicked out to begin with (like
). Or you could anoint
, a true industrial. Maybe it is worth considering
, as there are no pure defense plays.
Or if the issue is metals and mining, then it might be worthwhile to pick
at $20 billion.
, the country's largest steel maker, would make sense, but it is only an $18 billion company. Maybe a hybrid energy/ag play would make sense:
, at a bizarrely large $43 billion, could sneak in.
I know, I know, the Dow "doesn't matter." We hear that regularly. The
is far more important. No money's indexed to the Dow.
But tell me you wouldn't love to know who is coming in?
It's certainly worth handicapping.
And now you know my line.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Cisco Systems, ConocoPhillips, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo.
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