Foreign AffairsCramer said the U.S. economy was once the only economy that mattered, but that is now no longer the case. The U.S. economy and the U.S. stock market need more than ever, and are even more dependent upon, foreign investment, he said, "whether we like it or not." Remember the uproar over the Dubai Ports deal, he asked? Now, U.S. lawmakers are rethinking the openness of our economy, he said, with one California lawmaker drafting legislation that would require foreign companies to sell within five years anything they own that is considered critical to the country's economic or physical security. "This is the kind of stuff that over a longer time will make it tougher to make money in the market," said Cramer. In 1994, 56% of Americans backed economic globalization, and that number dropped to 48% in 2005, he said, adding that France, Spain and Poland are also blocking foreign companies from buying interests in their national companies.
Find the MoneyIn the "Find the Money" segment, Cramer told listeners that their office spaces were places full of moneymaking ideas. First, you'll see office furniture, and there are two major companies that make and sell that furniture, he said, Steelcase ( SCS) and Herman Miller ( MLHR). Steelcase has been a serial underperformer since it came public about 10 years ago, he said, noting that he took a loss after the stock had an earnings shortfall and has been wary of it ever since. But Herman Miller has consistently delivered on earnings, and is a way to make money by looking at your office space, he said. For office supplies, Cramer said that Office Depot ( ODP) is OK, but that Staples ( SPLS) is the best-of-breed play. And even though Cramer believes that Dell ( DELL) once represented the best in American manufacturing, he said that Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) is now the best computer maker around. New Chief Executive Mark Hurd said that H-P would no longer be No. 2, Cramer said, adding that Hurd vowed to make better computers, make them more cheaply than the competition and bundle them with printers. No one believed him, he said, but the stock was at $22 when he came in and is now in the low $30s. H-P is the dominant company, but most people are still thinking Dell, he said. "Talk about an opportunity."
A Taxing DecisionCramer said that even though Jackson Hewitt Tax Services ( JTX) was being taken lower by Eliot Spitzer's lawsuit against H&R Block, he thinks the case should eventually benefit Jackson Hewitt. Jackson Hewitt is not a well-run company, and it's a spinoff of another not-well-run company, Cendant ( CD), he told a caller. But tax time is here, and he believes that few people will want to let a company with H&R's legal problems take care of their taxes. He told another caller that Sirius ( SIRI) "lacks a catalyst," so there is "nothing the company can say or do in the next two weeks, or maybe even two months" that will get the stock moving. Cramer said that he believes the stock will eventually gain, but that right now it's "dead money," meaning that it's not doing anything for you. If you only care about what it does over the next month, Cramer said to move on and find a stock that will make some money. But if you're interested in Sirius over the next 18 months, then he said there will be many data points that could provide reasons to own the stock.
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