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:
  • a dearth of sellers,
  • retail's resilience, and
  • Obama's intransigence over natural gas.

Click here for information on RealMoney, where you can see all the blogs, including Jim Cramer's -- and reader comments -- in real time.


Desperately Seeking Sellers
Posted at 4:23 p.m. EST, Feb. 26, 2010

Doesn't it feel like there's no stock for sale? During the correction at the end of January and the beginning of February, you could find no bids. You would be "underneath" and get crushed for almost all the good stocks. Consider that Apple ( AAPL) went down to 191 eleven days ago and it did so in a heartbeat. Nothing but sellers. Now it feels like there isn't a share for sale. Chevron's ( CVX) the same: $79 to $69 in a week, losing scads and scads of points.

Verizon ( VZ) and ATT ( T) were also typical. It was like there was no one around and no floor. With these two, the dividend seemed to mean nothing.

The buyers were just gone. But the sellers? They were there in force? Over and over. Stupidly selling into nothingness.

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Now it has the same melt-up feel as it had meltdown. Nothing around to buy. Remarkable.

Seeing as there is nothing to go around, you could see the following happen: we get oil back to $80, gold up again, the dollar down again and a breakout on so many charts (see my post from Sunday ), and the conversion from correction to bull will be swift.

Which is why we can't take a melt-up off the table, especially with Congress doing nothing and China on vacation.

I have been adamant that this market is so random and capricious that anything can happen day to day.

But consider a scenario in which you get the oil/gold/dollar complex coming up bullish again, and tell me what happens if there are no commodity-type sellers?

Because it sure doesn't seem like mutual funds have anything for sale.

Random musings: Walgreen ( WAG) is cheap, but sounds like it has no momentum short term. At least that was my take-away from the interview with Greg Wasson, the CEO. ... And it's amazing to me that so few big-time firms cover Range Resources ( RRC) and that most of the firms that do are not that positive. If you look at the valuations for other Marcellus properties, ones that aren't as good as RRC, you know this thing could double.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Apple and Chevron.


Retail Is Alive and Kicking
Posted at 5:30 p.m. EST, Feb. 17, 2010

The most maligned industry out there might be retail. No matter what happens to the companies, people think the news is bad. These people are stuck in the past.

In the past few days, we have had fabulous reports from VF Corp ( VFC), Perry Ellis ( PERY) (mentioned in the columnist conversation ) and Phillips Van Heusen ( PVH). These three pretty much run the full spectrum in clothing retail. But The North Face, Arrow and Perry Ellis seem to mean nothing to people.

To me, they are terrific barometers. So is Jones Apparel ( JNY), another company that last week reported a nifty quarter, which was obscured by some one-time hits.

Darden ( DRI) and Whole Foods ( WFMI) are two other plays I consider quintessentially retail. Whole Foods in itself is a sign of a healthy consumer because it is as expensive as all getout to go there; yet, its take-home business is booming. But it isn't so booming that it's hurting the Olive Gardens and the Red Lobsters of the world.

Or, consider Panera ( PNRA), Chipotle ( CMG) and Cheesecake ( CAKE). These are moderately priced places, and you could argue that strength there doesn't mean much. I say, "Wait a second, these places saw slowdowns when things got tough; the slowdown is over."

Speaking of places that saw slowdowns, how about Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF), the quintessential overpriced teen retailer? Even this company has its act together now.

I can throw in a whole bunch that haven't recently reported, Tiffany ( TIF) and Nordstrom ( JWN) being the best examples.

Also, do you think we would get all of those upgrades of Home Depot ( HD) if business wasn't improving? How about that great recent number from Costco ( COST), which is propelling that stock up nicely?

The simple conclusion: Retail is alive and well. Once again, because unemployment is high, we dismiss it, or we say it is an unimportant time of the year, or that a calendar shift helped the results.

I say, give me a break. Things are better. That's all there is to it.

Random musings: Applied Materials ( AMAT) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) seem pretty terrific to this guy.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Costco and Home Depot.


Obama's Determined to Derail Nat Gas
Posted at 9:30 a.m. EST, Feb. 19, 2010

Will the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee kill the natural gas boom in this country? It sure will if Henry Waxman has his way ... and he's the chairman! He's leading an investigation into this endless charge that "fracking," the way to untap our 100 years' worth of energy, pollutes drinking water.

He's also suggesting that the EPA regulate drilling, which, given the activist EPA, pretty much would mean the end of the boom.

Waxman's smart. The American people care passionately about their drinking water. The ill-fated attempt by Chesapeake ( CHK) to drill near the New York reservoir and a vandalism incident that involved dumping brine associated with fracking into a drinking water well in Pennsylvania have literally turned the politicians in this country against this source of energy independence that would be cheaper and cleaner than oil and would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The natural gas industry itself has repeatedly said that this regulation is much ado about nothing. In fact, T. Boone Pickens, a leading proponent of nat gas as a way to fuel cars and trucks, in keeping with his backing of Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE), bet me $50 that something good comes out of Congress by Memorial Day that will encourage natural gas use for vehicles and that President Obama will embrace it.

I see it going the other way. While I am bullish on the companies because of underlying valuations -- consider Mitsui's ( MITSY) $1.4 billion bid for a third of Anadarko's ( APC) Marcellus holdings and the great report from Chesapeake the other day -- I am beginning to wonder if the president might side with Waxman and call for a drilling ban for natural gas. The president has studiously avoided mentioning the fuel as even on the menu for our nation's energy policy, and his adviser Austan Goolsbee on "Mad Money" refused to say the president endorses the cleaner fuel at all. It is at the end of the list after solar, wind, biofuels like ethanol, nuclear and then coal. I question whether it is favored over imported OPEC oil.

It is a fact of life that the president listens to his EPA and is in league with Waxman on these issues.

The single biggest detriment to natural gas as a bridge fuel remains the president of the United States, and the only question I have is whether he will put a moratorium on further drilling until the EPA can launch a multiyear study of the hazards of natural gas drilling to the nation's water supply. That will allow nuclear and clean coal to catch up to the fuel's use and keep the focus on anti-carbons or sequestration.

I have never seen anything like this. This president is determined to frustrate natural gas.

There is an action point here: XTO Energy ( XTO) must be dumped, as Exxon ( XOM) can walk away from XTO if the government bans fracking or halts it.

Why bother to own this one?

Random musings: Good call by Brian Gilmartin in the Columnist Coversation yesterday about buying Schwab ( SCHW) off this discount raise. Goldman upgrades from sell today. ... I love the Liberty Media ( LINTA) way to play Sirius ( SIRI) that came up on flagship yesterday.

At the time of publication, Cramer had no positions in the stocks mentioned.
Jim Cramer, co-founder and chairman of TheStreet.com, writes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's RealMoney and runs the charitable trust portfolio, Action Alerts PLUS. He also participates in video segments on TheStreet.com TV and serves as host of CNBC's "Mad Money" television program.

Mr. Cramer graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where he was president of The Harvard Crimson. He worked as a journalist at the Tallahassee Democrat and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, covering everything from sports to homicide before moving to New York to help start American Lawyer magazine. After a three-year stint, Mr. Cramer entered Harvard Law School and received his J.D. in 1984. Instead of practicing law, however, he joined Goldman Sachs, where he worked in sales and trading. In 1987, he left Goldman to start his own hedge fund. While he worked at his fund, Mr. Cramer helped start Smart Money for Dow Jones and then, in 1996, he co-founded TheStreet.com, of which he is chairman and where he has served as a columnist and contributor since. In 2000, Mr. Cramer retired from active money management to embrace media full time, including radio and television.

Mr. Cramer is the author of "Confessions of a Street Addict," "You Got Screwed," "Jim Cramer's Real Money," "Jim Cramer's Mad Money," "Jim Cramer's Stay Mad for Life" and, most recently, "Jim Cramer's Getting Back to Even." He has written for Time magazine and New York magazine and has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams, Meet the Press, Today, The Tonight Show, Late Night and MSNBC's Morning Joe.