Jim Cramer fills his blog on RealMoney every day with his up-to-the-minute reactions to what's happening in the market and his legendary ahead-of-the-crowd ideas. This week he blogged on:
  • the hazards of broad unionization,
  • housing's bottom, and
  • how to beat this market.
Click here for information on RealMoney, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.


Broad Unionization Would Hammer the Stocks
Posted at 2:19 p.m. EDT, March 24, 2009

What happens if the pro-union plans of President Obama go through Congress? What happens if secret ballots and quick elections occur?

I think that Wal-Mart ( WMT) would get unionized, eliminating its competitive advantage. More important, I think that we could see major unionization efforts at large banks, chiefly by underpaid tellers at Citigroup ( C) and Bank of America ( BAC), something that could be a big setback to attempts to rein in costs. We all know that if banks are going to keep costs down, the last thing they need is to be unionized. I worry that this drive could really hinder the next leg up of the banks, if there is to be one.

I am surprised that no one is talking about this as a risk factor to stocks. I think, regardless of how you feel about unions, a teller drive and a Wal-Mart union drive are NOT in the numbers.

I put it out there to keep on your radar screen because the return of union problems away from the auto companies is something that's been so long ignored that it will probably really take people by surprise...

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Wal-Mart.


Housing Is Bottoming, and It's Providing a Floor
Posted at 8:37 a.m. EDT, March 25, 2009

Bob Toll of Toll Brothers ( TOL) says it right: Bernanke and Geithner and Obama have made you seem crazy if you don't buy a house now. They are throwing so many incentives your way and the housing companies are so desperate to sell with special features thrown in that you have to wonder why you wouldn't buy right now in most areas, simply because you have to wonder how much better it is ever going to get. You are competing against no one, the seller is desperate for you and will make things as easy as possible for you, the rates are the lowest in our lifetime, when you add in the perks and the tax breaks, the houses are back to levels that are before the housing boom.

It is a kind of "what are you waiting for?" situation.

I know that mortgage availability was supposed to be an issue, but it is an issue only if you are not willing to put down money. But if you have $60,000, you can buy a $300,000 house. That's simply reasonable.

Of course, some areas are not done going down. We all know that.

But many others are.

Some people are going to lose their jobs.

Many others aren't.

To me the fact that Bob Toll had his first good weekend in ages -- as he said in an interview last night with Susie Gharib -- is interesting, not because he had one but because he has been so bearish that it's a clear change of pace.

There will be many setbacks to house price stabilization: job loss, neighborhood blight, lack of mortgage availability. But the forces in favor of house stabilization are now greater than those against. Which is why, when people ask me what has really happened to help cause a bottom, I say, "Housing."

I reiterate my once-ludicrous forecast that housing will bottom this summer and that what you saw when the Dow stopped going down was the bottom in housing, not in the economy. But right now, that's enough. If you agree, you don't have to buy the homebuilders, they have many issues and build homes in many regions that are still bad and are actually getting worse. You buy banks, because they are the repositories of mortgages that will not go back at the same torrid pace because of this Toll bottom.

Random musings: Terrible blow to Geithner when Frank Brosens, one of the great money managers out there, pulled out from the big rescue job last night. Nobody better than Frank, most people who worked with him at Goldman Sachs ( GS) would say.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Goldman Sachs.


How to Beat This Market
Posted at 5:10 p.m. EDT, March 26, 2009

Unless you are fully invested only in the economically sensitive stocks, you simply can't beat this market. You need steels, you need machinery, you need fertilizers, you need high energy retail and you need expensive tech. It's tough to be that well positioned.

The ideal portfolio for right now? Apple ( AAPL), 3M ( MMM), Freeport McMoRan ( FCX), Potash ( POT) and Union Pacific ( UNP). On deck: Google ( GOOG), Whirlpool ( WHR), Fluor ( FLR) and Sears ( SHLD).

Who the heck's long that? I know many more people who are short 'em!

This rally -- which should have been long in the tooth -- is just now going into turbo drive. The oscillator's been overbought for days, the stocks have gapped up hugely and yet it still mounts another run, with the same stocks just going up so high so many times that you are coming in up a quick $10 on a $30 or $40 stock.

Next week, the end of the quarter, will show that people really did not have that portfolio. But they will scramble to be in it between now and Tuesday. In fact, this rally could have a big markup component because the mutuals don't buy on the last day of the quarter for fear of prosecution -- even as the Madoff SEC looked the other way.

They might not any more.

No matter where the mutual funds go, the hedge funds will follow, especially when they are short.

Which is how they are biased going into tomorrow.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long 3M, Freeport McMoRan and Union Pacific.

RealMoney Barometer Poll
1 What would best describe your stance heading into the coming week of trading?
Bullish
Bearish
Neutral
2 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move up in the coming week?
3 Which of these sectors do you think is set to move down in the coming week?


View the results without voting
Jim Cramer is co-founder and chairman 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. To order Cramer's newest book -- "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer)," click here. Click here to order "Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich," click here to order "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click here to get "You Got Screwed!" and click here for Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback and invites you to send comments by clicking here.

TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Amazon.com under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Amazon.com purchases by customers directed there from TheStreet.com.

If you liked this article you might like

AAP Exclusive: Cramer on the Stocks in Their Bullpen (Watch Video)

AAP Exclusive: Cramer on the Stocks in Their Bullpen (Watch Video)

AAP Exclusive: Cramer on Investing Overseas

AAP Exclusive: Cramer on Investing Overseas

Jim Cramer: Walmart's Woes Tell Me It's Time to Buy Amazon

Jim Cramer: Walmart's Woes Tell Me It's Time to Buy Amazon

Jim Cramer: Don't Wait for Lightning to Strike Deadweight Stocks

Jim Cramer: Don't Wait for Lightning to Strike Deadweight Stocks

Jim Cramer: The Government Should Admit It Goofed With These Crazy Instruments

Jim Cramer: The Government Should Admit It Goofed With These Crazy Instruments