Jim Cramer fills his blog on
every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
- a housing boom,
- a heartening turn for natural gas, and
- the D.C. drag.
for information on
, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.
Housing's Coming Boom Cannot Be Denied
Posted at 1:23 p.m. EDT, May 10, 2010
What goes down must go up? I am looking at some housing stocks and I am marveling that they are snapping back even faster than I thought was possible.
My major focus is
, a stock that I like very, very much as a play on the rising price in housing and the ability to grow by snaring good land inventory -- something that SPF is doing right here. SPF is one of those tells, more than
, that makes me crazy angry with the bears. If the bears were right and the shadow inventory is growing and the prices are coming down, then why would the average price of an SPF home be going up? Why would they be buying more land? Why bother?
I simply don't know how to reconcile all of these articles about short-selling and foreclosures and downticks in housing -- putting aside some parts of Florida and Nevada -- with this company's pronouncements.
I am stuck with the facts, and the facts are all about things getting better, not worse. With the continued low housing build and the pent-up demand that comes from household formation that has not yet led to home-buying -- the longest period on record when I haven't seen people move out and buy -- it is very natural to believe that the lack of new housing is going to affect the inventory even if there are many foreclosures.
Now we read so many one-off articles:
( FRE) portfolio,
Bank of America's
portfolio, the portfolio of people being kept in their homes by HAMP. But they don't jibe with SPF, which is in the hardest-hit area of all. The news out of
( FNM) sounds sufficiently dire. Yet, I emphasize, again, these institutions are letting people stay in their homes, so the supply will get sopped up. I would feel very differently if they had to leave. I would love to believe the bear case. Nothing wrong with just saying, as I did for so long, that even though I think housing has bottomed, I don't want to own these stocks.
No can do. Too much good happening underneath all the RealtyTrak/Amherst/
New York Times
: Can you believe some of these euro-related stocks like
? ... How about these retailers that have snapped back, like
Bed Bath & Beyond
? They have rallied back to where they have failed. Dicey levels.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Bank of America and Cummins.
A Heartening Turn for Nat Gas
Posted at 11:15 a.m. EDT, May 12, 2010
At least natural gas wasn't left out of this new energy legislation introduced by Sens. Kerry and Lieberman this morning. Most heartening.
You can see the stocks are enjoying a bit of a run, too, although that might have more to do with natural-gas prices finally climbing above $4.
My contacts in energy are unanimous in believing the bill won't pass any time soon because of the contentious issues involving coal. But I believe the use of natural gas in 18 wheelers will make the issue of going nat gas a "no brainer," as Andrew Littlefair, the CEO of
Clean Energy Fuels
, the chief proselytizer for the industry (along with huge owner
T. Boone Pickens) has repeatedly told me. Even without it, the accidents in coal and offshore drilling make the fuel more compelling as a bridge to a carbon-free-fuel world.
The obstacles? Coal senators and a president who doesn't believe in this fuel.
The positives: Energy independence, cheap fuel, lower trade deficit (check out how today's numbers were boosted by imported oil), cleaner skies, hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and now, safety.
It's amazing how something so easy is so hard, especially odd given the most recent turn of events for natural-gas competitors.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.
The D.C. Drag
Posted at 9:14 a.m. EDT, May 14, 2010
Lately I have come to disdain the question executives are always asked: "What keeps you up at night?" I mean, come on, there are always worries. It is another one of those questions designed to create a negative thesis.
However, I do believe we can now answer the question simply: Washington. The president and Congress just won't stop in their endless pursuit of business. The
swipe fee last night out of nowhere is a good example -- and I feel it because we own it for
; at least we have been scaling back into strength and it is a small position. But there is no position in our portfolio that I believe is beyond the reach of intervention. Every oil, every bank, every retailer, every transport or industrial -- I am worried about all of 'em. Some of it is because the bashing of business is so popular that Congress and the president feel they can run on it. Some of it is a belief that, post-
, companies have owned the government and it is time to strike back.
Plus, Greece. That one country is holding the whole euro hostage, and even though I think they will take the medicine, there is enough worry from other countries that we can't get it off the front pages even though I think that the big risks are off the table.
More important, as I said
last night on my show, the skepticism and pessimism is building up at such a quick rate that it's become enervating to anyone who owns stocks. It is one of those days where you wish you owned nothing.
I come back to what protects: accidental high yields, low-valued techs, some defensives and some secular growth.
I also come back to a world where the negativity will be TOO GREAT in the end.
We just aren't there yet. Because we don't know when the government will stop its pronouncements and hobbling that makes you think, "It ain't worth it."
If they will
People are tired. They are tired of picking up the paper and seeing their companies attacked. I don't blame them. I reiterate though, let the pessimism build. Let the stocks come down.
Better levels ahead, thanks to Washington.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long BP and Visa.
Jim Cramer, co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio,
. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.
Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he co-founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.
Mr. Cramer is the author of "
," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.