Have other people finally started to recognize that this is the best stock market we've had in six years, Jim Cramer asked his
"RealMoney" radio show listeners on Monday.
Brokerage houses are downgrading big names such as
, copper companies,
; yet the market's reaction has been a march above 11,000 on the
, he said.
said that it's doing well, it has been difficult to stop retail, which had been in its own private bear market for months, Cramer added, saying that the people betting against
must be worried because
sales are up; and
jumped 15% after an upgrade.
This is all happening in a climate bereft of good news, with oil back at $64, negative reports coming out of Iraq and the president's popularity neither here nor there, Cramer said, but it doesn't seem to matter to stocks.
Cramer said that he's thinking about covering short positions in this environment.
"I have not heard of anything substantively positive coming out of Wall Street ... and that can end. But let's accept the fact that we've had more performance so far than we did last year," Cramer said.
"What happens if Wall Street gets on board and Main Street starts buying stocks again? Who knows how high we can go."
Lenny Dykstra, a disciplined trader and celebrity investor contributor to
, has developed a system of calculated risk that Cramer said listeners should know about, which is to buy deep calls to control stocks that he believes are strong companies he knows won't go out of business.
He told listeners that he bought a
deep in-the-money call for June. He bought 10 calls to control 1,000 shares of Wal-Mart, without having to have the nearly $46,000 he would need to buy the same amount of shares outright at the stock's current level.
He's paying to simply control the stock until the third Friday in June for a cost of $6,700, and Dykstra said that if the stock moves up 2 points, his investment will be worth $8,700 because of the amount of time he controls the shares for.
A listener emailed Cramer to say that he was making big gains using this strategy. Cramer said that while this is great, it is important to remember to ring the register on big gains.
In other email, a listener asked about whether to buy
The malaise on retail ended when Best Buy signaled that things are starting to get better, Cramer said, adding that he'd consider using this as a cue to buy more Coldwater Creek.
A caller asked how to decide whether the news of a split-up would benefit a stock and if it makes
an attractive option.
Cramer said that when a company that may split reports really good numbers but doesn't go higher, that's a compelling story. But if it's missing its targets, like
, then the possibility of a split-up is less interesting.
With Honeywell, Cramer said that it comprises many excellent businesses and a nonperforming auto-parts unit. It reported great earnings, but the stock still stayed flat.
In this environment, he said, splitting up the company might provide some upside, and Cramer would consider buying the stock.
has been weaker lately, Cramer said that part of that is due to a series of negative articles that have been written about the new Medicare legislation, and because the stock has been up so huge people are taking profits.
But he said that he'd still wait a couple of days before adding to his position to see what happens. It's a premium name, but Cramer wants to see why people are selling. (Cramer owns UnitedHealth for his
ActionAlertsPLUS charitable trust.)
also got a yellow light from Cramer. He said that the company is doing well and could move higher but that there's no compelling reason to buy at the moment.
In another moment of caution, he told a caller that he still thinks that the Brazilian paper company
is a great stock, but to proceed in Latin America with caution.
For example, Cramer said, a radical socialist is starting to gain some steam in the polls for the upcoming April 9 election in Peru. If a candidate like that were to win, that could mean tough sledding for investors.
He said that
has very little momentum and that he has trimmed his position there for
Action Alerts PLUS, his charitable trust.
On the other hand, he was bullish on flow-control company
He told a caller that basic industry companies such as Graco and
can make a lot of money.
Their products aren't particularly exciting; Graco makes gauges. But if you want to make money, Cramer said that a company doesn't have to be sexy. It just has to have minimum downside and the ability to make money.
He also said that payment-processing company
Total System Services
is getting a little expensive and that he would probably take some off the table.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Sears Holdings, Wells Fargo, Lucent, Altria, Boeing and UnitedHealth Group.
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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