Our game consoles, phones and gadgets are all offering features that require tons of storage space, from thousands of songs to multiple DVDs, said Jim Cramer on his
"RealMoney" radio show Monday. That's why he believes that it's time to focus on the class of the memory field, meaning the stocks that will benefit from the new storage needs that our devices require. He said to take a look at short-term memory maker SanDisk ( SNDK), a stock that has been "clobbered." It can't store 25 movies, but it can store a lot of songs and bits of data, Cramer said, adding that it's thin film memory, not hard drive. He said that Micron Technology ( MU) has also lagged, but he believes that current storage needs will give the company a lift. And he said that the two hard-drive memory plays are Western Digital ( WDC) and Seagate Technology ( STX). "These are not short-term trades," Cramer said. A caller wanted to know Cramer's take on TriQuint Semiconductor ( TQNT), a maker of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits. "The guts of a cell phone," Cramer said. Cramer said that even though TriQuint has proprietary technology, there are competitors. And the competition makes him worry because it means that prices could be pushed lower. That's another reason he likes Micron and SanDisk, companies that along with Lexar Media ( LEXR), don't face much competition in their part of the storage market. Cramer said there are too many players in its market to endorse TriQuint.
M*A*S*H* MedicineWar, though difficult and destructive, has generated some amazing advances for civilian use, Cramer said, including many new developments in medicine. Cramer cited a USA Today article that looks at products created in war clinics. And that made him think of DJ Orthopedics ( DJO), a maker of surgical and nonsurgical products that include knee and ankle braces, as well as the Aircast.
It's a baby boomer, medical and sports medicine play, he said. But he said it's an expensive stock relative to its growth and earnings outlooks. So he said he would have to wait for a pullback before he bought any of the stock. The Federal Reserve meets today and tomorrow to decide to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point for a 15th time. Why does Wall Street pay so much attention to this? Why do you need to know this? Because it can make you money, Cramer said. He said there is something he calls a "magic point" where you can make money by putting your money in cash, he said. Why take the risk of stocks or real estate if the return on your savings account is higher, he asked. And that savings rate of return rises and falls in tandem with the short-term interest rate controlled by the Fed. "When the Fed raises the cash rate, meaning what you get on your passbook, to 5%, I can't be as bullish on stocks because the risk-free rate is too attractive," he said. The Fed is expected to take the short-term rate to 4.75% tomorrow, and then to 5.5% in May. Moreover, listeners should pay attention to interest rate moves because they affect the inventory cycle, he said. When rates are low, builders, automakers and retailers can affordably borrow money to stock up on supplies and put more products onto the market. But when interest rates rise, it's more expensive to borrow money. Then there's less inventory buildup and the economy slows, he said. The Fed's rate decisions also affect home buying, because the short-term rate affects all rates, even mortgage rates, he said. So when the Fed raises rates, mortgage rates go up, too. That makes it more expensive to buy a home and slows home buying, he said, noting that this will also slow the economy.
"This is what is called a reverberation from the Fed, and it's negative for the economy," he said. But there's still money to be made. "Buy what's in your medicine chest. Buy what's in your kitchen," Cramer said. These are products that will always be in business even if the economy slows. And that's because even when we buy fewer cars, we still buy soda, food, shampoo and detergent. The debate over illegal immigration is raging, with several protests held this weekend to condemn legislation that was designed to punish organizations that aid undocumented workers, he said. There are an estimated 12 million undocumented workers in the U.S., Cramer said, and no matter where you fall on the issue, it's one that you must care about. Business wants cheap labor and undocumented workers want to work and provide that cheap labor, albeit illegally, he said. When he sees this, he said two companies come to mind: First Data ( FDC), which owns and is spinning off Western Union, as well as Global Payments ( GPN). Both of these companies offer services to people who want to transfer money to Latin America, he said, and that is a really good business. Global Payments was just downgraded, Cramer believes, because the stock has had such a large run. The downgrade has taken the stock down a bit, creating a "buying opportunity." A listener emailed and wanted to know how the ticker tape that runs along the bottom of CNBC and Bloomberg works. Cramer explained that the top line lists stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange, which are generally older, more established companies. The bottom line shows stocks that are traded on the Nasdaq, which is a tech company-heavy index. It used to be that companies only show up on "the tape" if a trade of more than 1,000 shares occurs. But on CNBC, only trades of more than $10,000 come over the tape. Either way, he said, you're still seeing only a small fraction of the trades. In order to follow your specific stock, you no longer need to pay attention to the tape, he said. Just go to a Web site such as Yahoo! Finance, TheStreet.com or The Wall Street Journal online and plug in the ticker symbol. Then you the price of the stock you want, regardless of whether it is being actively traded. He explained to another caller that Cisco ( CSCO) stock is turning higher thanks to a massive telecom construction and implementation designed to bring video-on-demand to our homes. Not only are Verizon ( VZ) and AT&T ( T) introducing video-on-demand systems, but also major corporations are upgrading to Internet phones because it's cheaper, he said. Cramer said that Cisco makes all of the system that allow data, voice and video information to travel to homes and offices, along with Nortel ( NT), Alcatel ( ALA) and Lucent ( LU). Finally, he said that he still likes Allegheny Technologies ( ATI) because it has little competition and that it stands to benefit from an aerospace cycle that we are "no where near the top of." The company produces the titanium needed to make planes lighter and more fuel efficient, he said. But it has had a huge run higher. "Up 63%, I can't like it as much as I did at the beginning of the year," he said. He believes that it will eventually go higher, but said that if he owned the stock he would book some profits here.