Friday is options expiration day for November, which would normally mean a week of volatility ahead of it. But this week the normal pattern of big down days followed by a couple of up days hasn't occurred, said Jim Cramer Thursday on his
"RealMoney" radio show.
That's a new development, he said, and Cramer believes it's bullish for the stock market. Cramer believes the innate strength of the market is due to people getting in on what looks to be a year-end rally.
And why not? Cold weather, which is important for retailers to be able to sell expensive coats and sweaters, has arrived just in time for the start of the holiday shopping season, said Cramer. But the cold hasn't arrived too soon to deplete natural gas inventories, he said.
Also, gasoline prices are coming down, and the dollar has been strong, which attracts foreign investment.
Still, with all of the good data points, the economy isn't so strong that the
will be compelled to continue raising interest rates indefinitely, said Cramer.
"What the heck is not to like?"
Cramer would go with
as a retail way to play the cold weather.
In the weekly "Stump Cramer" segment, where callers try to trip up Cramer with little-known small-cap stocks, Cramer was stumped by
Cramer was not stumped by
South Financial Group
, "one that I want to buy,"
, "jettison," and
, which Cramer believes would be an acquisition target if it weren't so richly valued.
By Popular Demand
, which came out on top in a
poll of stocks listeners wanted Cramer to comment on, Cramer said Apple's future isn't in the iPod. "The future of Apple is cell phones," he said.
Cramer said a new Windows smartphone could render the iPod unnecessary, and Apple is going to have to come out with a phone to compete. Not the "Rokr" phone, said Cramer, which is a "piece of junk." But a cool phone that incorporates music, video and computing, he said.
For now, though, Cramer believes Apple is the "best stock to own into the Christmas selling season." No other company is a master of what consumers want quite like Apple, he said.
Cramer added he believes Apple is being held down by options expiration Friday at the $65 strike price. Cramer believes Apple's stock will trade to $70 by options expiration next month, which falls on the third Friday in December. Apple traded at $64.70 late Thursday. (Want to pick a stock I should talk about in a future show? Take the poll at the bottom of this story!)
In response to a question about
, Cramer said he would endorse a trade into earnings Tuesday.
Cramer is not a fan of
PNC Financial Services
because its deposits per branch are dropping, he said. PNC could be a takeover target, but his rule is not to speculate on takeovers if the fundamentals are declining.
did not report a great quarter two weeks ago, but Cramer believes the future is bright. He would hold the stock.
will report a good quarter Thursday after the close. He would buy half a position now and half after its earnings report.
James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
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