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Fed Cut Still Makes Sense, Look at C, WM, MER

Originally published on Oct. 8 at 12:32 p.m. EDT

The parlor game about second-guessing the Fed's half-point move misses the point entirely. There was no moral hazard; there was huge financial hazard.

I want to talk about three incredibly bad reports we got last week: Citigroup ( C), Washington Mutual ( WM) and Merrill Lynch ( MER). These were devastating reports, billions of dollars in losses, just miserable.

I also have no doubt -- nor does the market -- that these charges put everything behind the companies if things get slower in the market. There will be huge layoffs at all of these firms, not just the top guys, because mortgage paper just isn't wanted anymore. The rating agencies won't give any of this stuff a free pass ever again, so it won't even be investable.

Now, go back to what the world would look like if the Fed hadn't cut by a half-point. Here's what we would have thought about it: We would have decided that Washington Mutual could be a goner, we would figure that Citigroup was just hiding big losses and we might have worried that Merrill Lynch might not recover.

Now, we all know that a half-point really doesn't do much for any of these companies. In fact, not until the yield curve becomes steep will any of these companies start making more money.

I just think that what happened with that cut was that it created an atmosphere where there wouldn't be a run on Washington Mutual and there wouldn't be worry that a Bear ( BSC) or a Merrill could really get hurt here.

Now, was it inflationary? I don't know; I think the dollar is putting in a bottom here and should never have been where it was.

Who has not been placated by the half-point cut? Who is playing the parlor game? Those who either wanted a collapse to teach some managers lessons or those who were short.

If that's who should be placated, they are the moral hazard of not doing anything. To enrich those two groups is just plain nuts.

Oh, can I just point out that if you are worried that we would bail out those who took "reckless" loans -- like they weren't obviously talked into them by these mortgage brokers -- a half-point won't do that. These people will be given even more diddly-squat with each new month of adjustable-rate mortgage resets.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Citigroup.

Expect Infra to Soar Off Shaw

Originally published on Oct. 10 at 9:41 a.m. EDT

Infrastructure makes so much sense. You know why?

Shaw Group ( SGR). Just look at this earnings report .

Do you know that of the infra names I follow -- McDermott ( MDR), Foster Wheeler ( FWLT), Jacobs ( JEC), Fluor ( FLR), Chicago Bridge ( CBI), KBR ( KBR) and ABB ( ABB) -- this is the worst one! This is a company that used to miss its quarter endlessly. It has been a serial underperformer for years.

But what has happened here, quite specifically, is that the business of infrastructure is so strong that even Shaw can't mess it up. The earnings, obviously, are almost double what we thought. More important, the backlog -- what these stocks really trade on -- went from $8 billion to $13.3 billion!

In the old days, these companies would have wild boom/bust cycles. No more. Now they just have secular growth from the breakdown in U.S. infra and the need for power and growth from around the world.

My prediction: They will all trade up on this number, and they should trade up on this number.

It is that big a blowout. And no complaints about the price of oil!

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this post.

Three Tech Plays -- On Oil

Originally published on Oct. 11 at 10:40 a.m. EDT

Name me three tech stocks that have increased more than 100% in the last year that are still cheap.

Try it! Think you can't?

I have some news for you. I have three that are still selling well under twice their growth rate that have more room to run and simply aren't done, as crazy as that seems: Oceaneering ( OII), FMC Technologies ( FTI) and Core Labs ( CLB).

I know. These are oil companies. They are not semis or software or hardware. They are technical services companies that allow companies to recoup marginal oil.

They are the ultimate tech plays on $80 oil. They are worth their weight in black gold.

I have long championed these companies, particularly Core Labs, which tells you where to find the hard-to-get oil in what looks like spent reservoirs. This technology matters particularly for either those majors that are desperate to find more oil, or, more likely, the smaller companies that buy properties from the majors and get out the marginal oil that allows them to boost reserves when they buy old fields.

FMC and Oceaneering are deep water plays, the service companies you need to bring in when you are drilling where the oil still is. These are companies that you bring in for harsh environments both to repair -- Oceaneering (remember them post-Hurricane Katrina?) -- and just to extract hard-to-get oil -- FMC.

In a market where the regular tech companies seem stretched on a multiple basis, these stocks only seemed stretched on a chart basis -- don't look, they are all classic parabolas.

I like to buy these stocks on a 3%-5% pullback. That hasn't happened lately. Which means that we are now in that period where you have to bet against yourself and take some down now -- I like to do it with long-dated, in-the-money calls -- and wait for the pullback that might never occur. At least you will have "something on" for the constant advance. And if oil breaks below $78, you will get a chance to buy another tranche at better prices.

(For those unfamiliar with this strategy, here I would be talking about, for example, the January 110 Core Labs calls at $23. Or January 50 FMC Tech's, or Oceaneering January 75s for 12).

Random musings: Dicker had another gem yesterday, buying Petrochina ( PTR) on Warren Buffett's cutback. Holy cow! ... Ford ( F) is going up to $10 when that deal gets signed. I would be in ahead of that.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this post.

RealMoney Barometer Poll
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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. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" weeknights on CNBC. Click here to order Cramer's latest book, "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click here to order his 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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