NEW YORK (
) -- 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:
- The selloff in energy stocks;
- the semiconductor sector; and
- Bank of America's Countrywide unit.
for information on
, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.
Think Twice Before Fleeing Energy Stocks
Posted at 4:23 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 4.
This energy patch is the most confusing of places right now. Egypt, contango (great
by Dan Dicker earlier), big rig count, but no letup in nat-gas pricing pressure despite an absurdly cold winter.
It's enough to make people flee the group, which is exactly what they are doing, especially after that disastrous quarter from
Royal Dutch Shell
I think it is a big mistake to flee the oils. It isn't like oil is at $90 going to $70. I think it is hanging out here like all commodities, waiting for the U.S. to catch fire, but in the interim, Chinese demand continues unabated.
To me, the group is just resting, recharging after a big run, not unlike the consolidation the banks are going through, while other sectors come alive. I would be an aggressive buyer of these stocks down even 2% or 3% next week as Egypt resolves itself and we get an option expiration that, I believe, could put
pressure on the entire group.
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Perhaps the most compelling stocks remain the natural gas stocks. The Chinese want in -- we know that from
announcement last Sunday night,
told you that it loves XTO, the green light for others to buy, and Royal Dutch needs to do something big to get is growth back.
The group is cheap, and when it finishes the consolidation, I think the run begins again, even if oil stays at $90 -- something that Dan told you is not likely to happen -- and natural gas stays below $5.
At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in stocks mentioned.
It's Semi Time
Posted at 10:45 a.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 4.
Is this the golden age of semiconductors? Hard not to think so when you see so many of the semi and semi-related numbers we've had. Last night when I spoke to
CEO T.J. Rodgers, a tremendous businessperson and a brilliant inventor and visionary about tech, he had to do everything he could to suppress his belief that this is the best moment
There are just so many devices that need high-speed, functional chips, and people
so many devices -- this is a "can't have just one" moment -- that the demand is off the charts.
Cypress makes chips that are integral to the basic functioning of smartphones -- the keyboards, the touch screens, you name it, they make the chips for it. Yes, they don't have the
business, but that means they are being used by nine out of the top 10 phone companies. All non-Apple tablets use Cypress for their look and feel. The Kindle and the Nook work because of Cypress. They are running full-out.
If you read through the conference call for Cypress, you will notice that Rodgers says he is paranoid that this could be 2000, where everyone ramps for the explosive growth of the Internet and then it fizzles out.
The difference? He says last time it was corporate, and this time it is individuals -- and it is tidal when it comes to individuals, touching every aspect of the globe.
Of course the whole chain of devices that tap into the Internet for voice, data and video need a host of chips, such as those made by
(sound) are on fire. They aren't done.
To listen to T.J., they may just be getting started.
I am a believer.
: More on this later, but the
optical testing equipment explosion is impacting
because it is a big user of the equipment. I have liked this stock so much for so long, and yet people continue to downgrade it. You need Ciena to replace the terrestrial network. It has $3 in earnings power next year. It can easily trade to $30.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple.
Bank of America's Countrywide Problem
Posted at 11:08 a.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 3.
So I bump into a guy in the elevator who works for
Bank of America
, and he's really glad I am high on the stock. I tell him I own it for my
. What he goes on to say, though, rankles me. He wants to know why I don't appreciate Countrywide that much, why I am always negative on it. I tell him that it is tainted, that it has an unfathomable amount of home equity loans and a huge amount of loans that need to be reworked, and reworking is expensive and a total drag on earnings.
He talks to me about "reach," and I come back and say, "Reach? Bank of America has all the reach it needs without Countrywide." You know what I should have said? I should have said, "I dislike Countrywide so much, I wish BofA would put all of those loans into some sort of 'bad bank,' some equity stub that's a bet on a comeback of home prices someday. That would remove the taint to the core bank."
We all know that Bank of America's buy of Countrywide may have been among the dumbest, most stupid acquisitions of all time. I could argue that Countrywide would have been bankrupt, a ward of the state, if BofA had simply taken a pass on it. Bank of America severely overpaid for Merrill Lynch too, but that's a terrific asset with a great brand. No one in this country thinks that Countrywide is a good brand.
So, why not get rid of the dregs of Countrywide, package them all in a Countrywide bank? Rename whatever is still Countrywide as Bank of America, and get rid of the darned thing.
It can be like
, where you have loans shifted into an entity that is basically not part of
and it can bleed off. I would go one step further and give guys like the elevator guy, or the other optimists out there, a chance for the most levered option to housing, the one that owns equity in homes that could be wiped out if housing stays low but could soar if housing gets better.
Good bank; bad bank.
That's the ticket for Bank of America to rally to $20. Now where's that guy in the elevator? Maybe he can get it to work!
At the time of publication, Cramer was long BAC.
Jim Cramer, 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 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.