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"It's getting too hard to try to make you money in this market," Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Tuesday. "In this bear market, the only concern should be to protect the money you have."

According to Cramer, one of the few remaining high-growth, defensive themes that's still working is pet diagnostics.

Idexx Labs ( IDXX), Cramer says, is the best of breed, which offers an integrated play on pet diagnostics.

Idexx makes a pet diagnostic test for veterinarians and offers a full range of services, including management software and laboratory services. "Even in a recession," Cramer said, "people still spend money on their pets."

Cramer says the company has two upcoming catalysts as it prepares to replace two of its most popular blood and urine testing kits with new models.

Cramer also likes the company's recurring revenue stream and the $1.5 million still left in its stock buyback program. He also likes the company's low beta value, which means the stock is not very volatile in tough markets.

Idexx shares rose 75 cents a share in Tuesday's down market, which makes the stock worth looking into. Cramer says he does worry that the stock trades at more than two times its current growth rate, but notes that he's willing to pay a premium for Idexx because none of its business is economically sensitive.

The bottom line, Cramer says, is that the time is ripe for defense stocks like Idexx Labs.

An Overlooked Tech Stock

Cramer turned to overlooked and undervalued tech stocks that have been crushed by the market. Tech companies, he says, are unique because they don't need to borrow money and can "march to their own tune, independent of the market."

One of his favorites in this bear market is Riverbed ( RVBD).

Riverbed's Steelhead products aim to allow corporate networks to run more quickly and provide better remote access services. The company's stock "blew up" in October after it reported an in-line quarter and has been drifting lower ever since, he says.

But Cramer believes the current price represents an excellent risk-reward proposition. The estimates, he says, are so low that Riverbed can easily beat them. The company has a 41% long-term growth rate, and Cramer says he's willing to pay up to 80 times earnings for a growth rate that high.

"There aren't a lot of cheap stocks that work in this horrible environment," he said, "but Riverbed's one of them."

Cramer still believes Apple ( AAPL) is in fine shape and will probably bottom tomorrow as many tech stocks begin to recover from recent losses.

Getting It Right

Cramer says opportunity may be knocking at the door of AT&T ( T) and investors should be listening.

Recently, CEO Randall Stevenson, made comments that the company's consumer business was weakening. The news media, Cramer says, widely interpreted this news as a guide-down of AT&T's earnings. But this is not the case, he emphasizes.

Stevenson told Cramer personally that while the company's consumer business may be affected by a slowing economy, it remained strong in wireless and other areas.

Cramer says the weakening consumer will not affect the company's earnings. Rather, he says, Stevenson's explanation helped clarify the situation. Cramer believes AT&T stock has gone down on a fictional guide-down and not on the facts. Cramer expects the company to nail its earnings estimates and boost its dividend later this year.

Cramer still likes the business model at Verizon ( VZ) long term, but belieres the opportunity to buy AT&T, which is down 12% from its high, is too good to pass up.

Mad Mail

In this viewer feedback segment, Cramer told a viewer not to panic and sell all of his Wachovia ( WB) shares at once, but to instead sell into any strength the stock exhibits.

He told another viewer that he does believe Harley Davidson ( HOG) is undervalued, but sees no catalyst that will take the stock any higher.

Sudden Death

Cramer was bullish on Puget Energy ( PSD) and Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA).

He was bearish on Given Imaging ( GIVN).

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on ( BIDU), Athenahealth ( AB), Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX) and Brookfield Asset Management ( BAM).

Cramer was bearish on H&R Block ( HRB), Boeing ( BA), Regions Financial ( RF), Downey Financial ( DSL) and Circuit City ( CC).

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

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

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of 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, 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 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, 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, 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. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on 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, 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.

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