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"Now's the time to sift through the rubble and look for opportunities," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Monday. The 10-year Treasury, he noted, yields just 3.87%, which equates to just 2.79% after taxes. This makes stocks with growth and dividends a lot more attractive.

Cramer said he used a similar strategy on March 6, 2007, when after a miserable February, he recommended General Cable ( BGC), First Solar ( FSLR), CheMed ( CHE) and Akamai ( AKAM).

According to Cramer, those stocks are up an average of 100% since, while the S&P has risen only 1.5%.

Cramer now sees opportunity for investors in Dow Chemical ( DOW), Bristol-Myers ( BMY), Verizon ( VZ) and Altria ( MO). Altria is a stock he owns for his Action Alerts PLUS

All of these companies now have better yields than Treasuries, especially when you factor in a 15% dividend tax rate as compared with a 28% tax rate on Treasuries, Cramer says.

Altria, whose dividend currently yields 3.8%, is set to spin off its international tobacco division in March, which Cramer feels will unlock value.

Cramer likes Verizon, which yields 3.97%, for its fiber-optic network that it is rolling out to 18 million homes and for its defensive nature. Another defensive stock he likes is Bristol-Myers, which yields 4.7%, because of its recent restructuring, high dividend and attractive earnings estimates.

And finally, Cramer likes Dow Chemical for its 4.52% yield and the fact the stock has fallen 16% since December. He also likes the company's joint plastics ventures in Kuwait.

A Gem of an Oil Stock

Cramer credited a viewer for introducing him last month to Petrobras Energia ( PZE), an oil and gas exploration and production company in Latin America that he now feels is a buy. Although Petrobras operates in a risky area of the world, Cramer believes the risk-reward is low enough to make the company an attractive stock.

Argentina's energy sector is "heating up," Cramer says, with stronger prices in the country's refining business. He noted that Petrobras is an undercovered and underexposed company with little analyst coverage, making it unlikely to get downgraded.

"High oil is high oil," Cramer explained, no matter where in the world you are drilling for it. Petrobras is "not for the faint of heart," but if you can tolerate the risk, this is a company you should own, Cramer says.

A Recession-Proof Health Care Stock

Cramer visited his local drugstore to find a company that's both a defensive play and also an attractive takeover target. He likes Chattem ( CHTT) for its recession-proof brands such as Icy-Hot, Selsen Blue, Gold Bond and Pamprin, among others.

Cramer says Chattem's success can be measured by how many feet of aisle space it takes up in your local drugstore. The company's strategy of purchasing distressed brands from other companies and reviving them is working. Its successful business model has caused the stock to double since he first recommended it in April 2006.

The company recently reported stellar earnings of 84 cents a share for the quarter ended last September, beating estimates of just 74 cents. Sales, he noted, were up 51%. Cramer feels the stock could go to $84 or higher as the fight for shelf space heats up.

Airgas Running Strong

Cramer welcomed Peter McCausland, CEO of Airgas ( ARG), to the TV show to dispel rumors that all industrial companies are subject to a slowing economy.

McCausland stated that Airgas is growing both organically and through acquisitions and is seeing strength in its energy, metals, mining, agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing markets. He reiterated that pricing for its products is good and it is seeing strong demand.

Cramer said he has liked and championed this group, and with Airgas down 8% from its recent highs, it's a strong buy.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Manitowoc ( MTW), Hudson City Bancorp ( HCBK), First Solar ( FSLR), Focus Media ( FMCN), China Mobile ( CHL), PetroChina ( PTR), eBay ( EBAY) and Baidu.com ( BIDU).

Cramer was bearish on Bank of America ( BAC), Garmin ( GRMN), Akeena Solar ( AKNS), Aluminum Corp. of China ( ACH) and Moody's ( MCO).

Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by clicking here.

For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here .
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Altria.

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."

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