Click here for an archive of Cramer's "Mad Money" recaps.


There are three sectors, even in this market, where market players can make some money, Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday. He advised his viewers to look into regional banks, utilities and real estate investment trusts.

People could look at this market and give up since the tech sector, industrials and even retailers are performing bearishly, he said. They're either all losing money or looking way too risky to invest in.

Cereals and soups are defensive stocks that are working, but companies without dividends and buybacks are not doing well, he said, adding he has never seen such bad pin action from defenseless stocks.

While people could call it a bear market and sit on the sidelines, Cramer suggests they look for opportunities instead because the market is full of them.

He said he wants people to find groups that have solid dividends, so that if the stock goes low the high-yield action can act as a cushion. Also look for cheap stocks with buybacks or ones that are takeover targets, he said.

Given how bad the market is, there aren't too many takeover bids, he said. But he does see takeover prospects in the regional banks, utilities and REIT sectors.

Also, Cramer told viewers to look at a company's European exposure before buying the stock because a lot of weakness has been coming from Europe, he said.

Take It to the Banks

Starting with regional banks, he said nobody wants to buy banks when interest rates are rising, but hopefully with just one more rate hike, this could be a worry of the past.

They also have serious cash, he said. This makes them leaders in lending growth and acquisitions. When rate hikes ease, banks become cheap, and then they become takeover targets, he said, adding that we are currently in this environment.

For this sector, Cramer provided an example: National City ( NCC) buying Harbor Florida Bancshares ( HARB).

Since this merger is already a done deal, he doesn't want you to buy National City or Harbor Florida. But there are two look-alikes he wants players to look at: Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida ( SBCF) and Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK).

Both are takeover targets with 2.2% and 2.3% dividend yields, he said. While Hudson City has a big buyback, he said he believes Seacoast could be the better story. He wants people to do their homework and decide for themselves.

But viewers need to be extra careful buying either of the two, he warned.

"If you jump all over them, you could turn a touchdown into a seven-and-a-half-yard gain," Cramer said. "Right now I believe the bull market is in regional banks."

Useful Utilities

Cramer wants people to stay in the game because there are still places to make money, he said. He doesn't usually talk about utilities because the market isn't usually this tough, but this is the second sector he believes could potentially make you money.

Cramer emphasized that he is not trying to pitch individual stocks, but rather is showing viewers entire sectors that they could look into themselves to come up with stock picks by following his method of choosing.

Since people never cut back on their energy use as much as they would like in a tough economy, he believes utilities make up a good defense sector that usually endures the impact of a bearish market. Also, these companies usually have a high dividend, which means yield protection, he said.

In 1935, the Public Utility Holding Company Act was enacted to put an end to Samuel Insull's monopoly in the utility area. For decades there was no consolidation in the utility sector because of this silly law, Cramer said. But last year, Congress repealed it.

Now Cascade Natural Gas ( CGC) is merging with MDU Resources ( MDU).

Cramer sees another takeover target in Chesapeake Utilities ( CPK).

Black Hills ( BKH), IdaCorp ( IDA) and Cleco ( CNL) are other potential takeovers, although, he said, Chesapeake is his favorite bet.

Utilities with high dividends equal straight money, Cramer said. But he warned not to jump the gun and buy all at once. Buy a little at a time, he said.

REITs for the Sky

"Even in an ugly, hideous market I tend to gravitate toward certain sectors," Cramer told his viewers. These have defenses that keep the stock from going too low, he said, adding that in this type of market environment, people need to be conservative.

Takeover bids can make people money hand over fist, he said. The third sector where he sees this as a probability is the real estate investment trust industry.

Right now, commercial real estate companies are being acquired, but since they are not household names, people are not focusing on them, he said. Why are they being acquired? Because it's cheaper for them to buy commercial properties than it is to build them since these properties are in short supply right now, he said.

This sector is also great because of their high dividends, he said.

However, Cramer said he does not like mall REITs, as the premiums paid for them are very low. Instead, he likes office properties.

Two commercial real estate companies he named on Wednesday's show are Equity Office Properties Trust ( EOP) and Vornado Realty Trust ( VNO). While both of these companies are great, Cramer said they are too big to be acquired.

What we need is a small REIT with strong yield and office property in New York, since that's where it's hot right now, he said.

He recommended two: Reckson Associates Realty ( RA) and Brandywine Realty Trust ( BDN), both of which have high yields.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on Varian Medical Systems ( VAR), Baxter ( BAX), EuroZinc ( EZM), Nabors ( NBR), Under Armour ( UARM), Lowe's ( LOW), Petrohawk Energy ( HAWK) Procter & Gamble ( PG) and CSX ( CSX).

Cramer was bearish on Electronic Arts ( ERTS), GameStop ( GME), Alvarion ( ALVR), Southern Copper ( PCU), Basic Energy Services ( BAS), Home Depot ( HD), IRIS International ( IRIS), Helen of Troy ( HELE) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe ( BNI).

For more of Cramer's insights during the most recent Lightning Round, click here .

Here's your chance to pick the stock you'd like me to feature on my radio show July 20:
Ford
Forest Labs
PepsiCo
Marriott
Activision
SAP

REMEMBER to listen in on Thursday for my take on the stock that wins this poll!
As originally published, this story contained an error. Please see Corrections and Clarifications.

At time of publication, Cramer was long Nabors.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on Mad Money are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, TheStreet.com or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor TheStreet.com, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.