"Ever try to run the opposite way on a down escalator?" Jim Cramer asked listeners of his "RealMoney" radio show Tuesday.

"You can make it to the top if you run fast enough ... but usually you'll make your way down."

Cramer says this is the scenario we're in now, running up the down escalator, as investors try to make a buck in an era he calls "the days of the one-day bull markets."

There was a time when trading and investing was an art form, when you chose your stocks carefully and constructed a portfolio, Cramer said.

But now the market swings are so fast and furious that the average investor would have to quit his or her day job in order to make money in the market -- which would mean buying low and then selling high.

It's almost impossible to catch these one-day bull markets, Cramer said. It's frustrating, and it will keep new money out of the market.

In these times, Cramer believes that the remedy is to take the stairs, not the escalator, meaning investors need to find a new pattern.

Look for a way to go up 50 and down 30, he said, emphasizing that gains need to be made in moderation. "That's sustainable ... unlike what we have now."

Too Cheap to Ignore

You need conviction for these tough times, said Cramer, criticizing an analyst for downgrading a stock on investor sentiment.

It's not worth it to sell Halliburton ( HAL) just because investors are leaving the market, he said. Cramer owns Halliburton for his charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS .

There's a lot of research out there that shows that investors may not want to pull out of the market, he added.

For example, Cramer has a huge amount of faith in the infrastructure sector, but this is the sector that has taken the worst beating.

Cramer believes that in 18 months, this sector will be in inning three or four, but he sees that it's hurting now. This is in large part because Shaw Group ( SGR) reported a very disappointing quarter.

The stock plummeted, and it created some unfortunate pin action that affected every infrastructure stock.

Jacobs Engineering ( JEC) then said that its infrastructure earnings will likely grow by 30%; the stock at one point today was up 8 points.

Cramer said this ignited the sector and put space between the Shaw disaster and the rest of the sector.

He said that McDermott International ( MDR), is a "fine company" involved in the engineering and construction business, but that the stock is not that cheap.

Fluor ( FLR) is the "premier, big daddy of infrastructure," which is at $86, down from a high near $103.

Cramer owns three infrastructure plays, including Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), which he said is the worst performer in his Action Alerts PLUS portfolio. But if you have conviction about the fundamentals that isn't a problem, he said.

He also owns URS ( URS), which does engineering and construction for the U.S. government and has a hazardous waste management unit.

And Cramer owns ABB ( ABB), the largest engineering construction company in Europe.

Speaking of conviction and sentiment, Cramer pointed out that Nabors ( NBR), which he owns for his trust, Action Alerts PLUS , is down and causing short-term pain because the analysts hate the stock now that natural gas prices have sunk.

Even though coal and deep-water oil drilling seem like sexier plays, he said that Nabors should not be overlooked. The stock has gotten so hammered, he said, adding that a company can fall so low it becomes too cheap to ignore, whether it's a gas driller or a bubble-gum maker.

Moreover, Cramer said he has conviction that the stock's fundamental story is still intact because we are not going to stop using natural gas.

Cramer's Callers

The First caller wanted to know more about Altria's ( MO) Kraft Foods ( KFT) business.

Cramer said that Altria, which he owns for his charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS , is a $79 stock that will go to $100. The company reported a decent quarter, given the fact that it's now hard to make money on cigarettes.

But once the company breaks up and spins off Kraft, Altria should run higher.

He told a caller not to miss the boat on Oregon Steel ( OS). U.S. Steel ( X) and Nucor ( NUE).

Both reported good numbers, and Cramer said Oregon Steel will likely follow suit. Trade around the volatility if you like, he said, but just make sure that you have a position before the company reports.

Legg Mason ( LM) is a good company, but it missed the quarter, he told another caller. You can't do that in the money-management business and not take a hit.

As for General Motors ( GM), Cramer said that the company was once an indebted company with a bad balance sheet and suspect management.

But now Cramer believes that it's a company with good management, a good balance sheet and help from the outside in the form of Kirk Kerkorian. The stock is going higher, he said.

Cramer said that he has been buying Goldman Sachs ( GS) for Action Alerts PLUS because it is a largely institutional bank. It sells at 8 times earnings, making it the cheapest of the brokers, and it has no exposure to retail banking.

A caller said that he has $20,000 in the bank, knows little about investing and is looking for reading material on the basics of stock trading. Cramer recommended his book "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World."

Finally, Cramer told a caller to take an 8-month view on Microsoft ( MSFT), which will soon release its Vista operating system.

The company is buying back its stock to take advantage of the dip, and Cramer said that Microsoft holders will be rewarded.

Here's your chance to pick the stock you'd like me to feature on my radio show July 27:
Chicago Merc
Peabody Energy
St. Jude Medical
Whole Foods

REMEMBER to listen in on Thursday for my take on the stock that wins this poll!
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Halliburton, Foster Wheeler, Altria, Goldman Sachs, Nabors Industries, ABB and URS.

Jim 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. 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." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by clicking here.

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