Nuclear winter isn't upon us, but autumn almost is, when football strategy calls for a good defense, Jim Cramer told listeners on his "RealMoney" radio show Wednesday.

Getting defensive doesn't necessarily mean going to cash, noted Cramer. One can find stocks that make money in a slower-growing environment such as Google ( GOOG - Get Report), Yahoo! ( YHOO), Altria ( MO - Get Report) and Procter & Gamble ( PG - Get Report).

Cramer cautioned that now is not the time to be tempted by Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF - Get Report), American Eagle Outfitters ( AEOS) or Urban Outfitters ( URBN - Get Report).

Cramer also likes UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) and Humana ( HUM - Get Report), Syneron Medical ( ELOS) and Zimmer Holdings ( ZMH). Think foods, cosmetics and some health care. "Don't' overthink it."

Listener Questions

A caller wanted to know if the selloff in homebuilders is a buying opportunity. Cramer said it is not.

"When I get more defensive, I don't want to view the break in housing stocks as an opportunity," Cramer said. "The stocks are telling us interest rates are going to go higher ... and the value of your home is going to stabilize and not go up."

This scenario won't cause a crash, but the valuations of housing stocks are going to shrink. Cramer said Toll Brothers ( TOL - Get Report) could retreat to 12 times earnings, or the low $40s. Lennar ( LEN - Get Report) could fall to the mid $50s. Cramer said he would lighten up on housing, but he still wouldn't sell all his homebuilders. Nevertheless, "Don't use this selloff as an opportunity. There will be better opportunities."

Another caller asked if one should buy more of Google on the pullback or if on speculation it might be added to the S&P 500. Cramer said it was very tough to predict what Standard & Poor's would do. Cramer likes Google and is confident earnings estimates are too low. But, he likes Yahoo! better after its recent selloff. Cramer would buy Google on a selloff, but he would buy Yahoo! first. eBay ( EBAY) is his third choice among Internet stocks.

Another caller wanted to know if Cramer used technical analysis such as Bollinger Bands or moving averages. Cramer said he used technical analysis when he was at his hedge fund for entry and exit points when trading. But, since he can't trade now, he has less use for the charts. What he does now when a stock goes lower is buy more, which is antithetical to technical analysis.

Picks and Pans

  • American International Group (AIG): The company got into some trouble, but it has been straightened out now.
  • Caterpillar (CAT): Quality company.
  • Apple Computer (AAPL): Apple is the "right" tech stock to own.
  • General Electric (GE): GE is good because it is more of a financial, health care and entertainment stock than a manufacturer like Caterpillar.
  • Cardinal Health (CAH): Cramer likes Cardinal, but it is not his favorite health care stock.
  • Vector Group (VGR): Among tobacco stocks, Cramer likes Altria better. But, VGR is fine.
  • ConAgra Foods (CAG): Stock pays a nice dividend.
  • Charles Schwab ( SCH): A solid financial stock.
  • Terra Nitrogen (TNH): Fine.
  • Skyworks Solutions (SWKS): This cell-phone tech stock is good in a slowdown because cell phones are not really discretionary any more.
  • Cisco (CSCO): A fine company, but there are better tech stocks such as Apple and Intel (INTC).
  • Enterra Energy Trust (EENC): Time to trim.
  • National-Oilwell Varco (NOV): Keep this one, it's a late-cycle oil play. It supplies the drillers, and companies are still drilling.
  • Reader email

    What would you do with an inheritance of $150,000? Cramer said he would take $100,000 and invest conservatively. The rest he would put into a self-managed portfolio of individual stocks if one had the time to monitor the portfolio and the inclination to take care of it. One needs to allow about one hour per week per position and needs to know how to read company reports.

    At the time of publication, Cramer was long Intel, Altria, UnitedHealth and Yahoo!.

    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 Action Alerts PLUS. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by clicking here. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict."