NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors looking to know which stocks to buy, and when, need to have the key, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers on Tuesday. But in today's markets, finding the key isn't always easy. Cramer said that normally, with industrial production going up, he'd recommend Caterpillar ( CAT). With demand for new building on the rise, normally steel maker Nucor ( NUE) would be the go-to play. Consumer price inflation falling? Buy General Mills ( GIS). Retail sales up? Buy retail. And so on. But in today's market, Cramer said the key isn't any of those metrics, it's the CurrencyShares Euro Trust ( FXE), a measure of the strength of the euro vs. the dollar. Cramer recounted how as a young trader on the road, he'd only have time to ask one or two questions about how the markets were doing each day. THis trained him to find the key, the one stock that could tell him which was things were likely headed. In the 1980s, that key was Pfizer ( PFE - Get Report), as the markets traded with the drug stocks. In the dot com boom, that stock was Yahoo! ( YHOO), and in today's market, it's the FXE. Cramer explained that all of Europe's woes can the summed up in the strength of the euro, which the FXE measures. When the euro is strong, U.S. markets have a good day. When it's weak, our markets tank. Cramer said he wishes there was more to it, but it's just that simple. Cramer said all investors need to have the FXE in the top left corner of their screen, above the Dow Jones Industrial Average and above the S&P 500. As goes the FXE, he said, so goes the market, no matter how good the news here at home.
Spending MoreIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Aubrey McClendon, chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), a leading producer of oil and natural gas, especially in our nation's red hot oil shale formations. McClendon said that analysts have been concerned about the company's 2012 spending plans, but he said that Chesapeake is spending more on purpose as it moves from natural gas to more oil production, as oil is fetching four times as much as gas. McClendon reiterated that Chesapeake is not selling stock, nor taking on debt to fuel its transition, it's merely selling some of its lesser assets. Speaking of these assets, which are worth over $23 a share, McClendon said he's perplexed as to why Chesapeake shares trade just above that number. He said the company has always been about having the best on-shore oil and gas assets and it will continue pursuing that goal even through its transition. When asked about the natural gas bill that's been stuck in Congress, McClendon said that the hold-up has how to pay for the tax breaks on natural gas vehicles. However the latest bill tackles that problem with a 15-cent tax on natural gas itself. "We're taxing ourselves," he said, which gives the new bill an excellent chance of passing. McClendon also said that Chesapeake doesn't need the bill to pass in order to succeed. He called a passage just "icing on the cake." Finally, when asked about the possibility of the U.S. exporting natural gas, McClendon noted that the U.S. will have the ability to export in the next four years, but he hopes that the U.S. wakes up and uses its own fuel instead of imported oil. If that happens, no exporting will be needed, he said.
Growth Rate KeyContinuing his "Stock Supermarket" series, Cramer compared the prices of Pfizer ( PFE - Get Report) versus Celgene ( CELG - Get Report) to see which was cheaper. On the surface, Pfizer seems cheap trading at 8.6 times earnings when compared to Celgene at 14.5 times earnings. Pfizer also sports a 4% dividend yield, a stock buyback program and a stock that's up a healthy 16% for the year. Lots to love, right? But Cramer said that P/E multiples are only half of the story, the other half being growth. Pfizer only has a growth rate of 4%, meaning that it's PEG Ratio, multiple divided by growth, comes to 2.1. Anything over 2, said Cramer, is expensive. Additionally, Pfizer is also falling off a patent cliff, with Lipitor, its blockbuster cholesterol drug being just one of many coming off patent in the coming years. Celgene, on the other hand, has a 25% growth rate and a PEG Ratio of just .56. Cramer said this bargain basement price is insanely cheap, given that Celgene is finding new indications for drugs like Revlimid, its blood cancer treatment, among others. When it last reported, Celgene beat estimates by seven cents a share on a 37% pop in revenues. The company also raised guidance, a healthy sign. That's why Cramer said Pfizer is not the cheap company among these two, it's clearly Celgene.