NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "It pays to bet against the bears," Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Tuesdays, after a strong rally led to a beautiful kick-off for 2012. Cramer said the conventional bearish "wisdom" of 2011 proved to almost totally wrong, and he listed his top 10 market myths that proved to be untrue for the year just past. Cramer's market myths included: 1. The U.S. will be the worst performing market of the year. 2. The dollar had to go down. 3. Interest rates had to go higher. 4. Oil trades with other commodities. 5. U.S. natural gas reserves were over-stated. 6. The price of gold had peaked. 7. The euro will fall apart. 8. Big pharma is dead. 9. Consumers are spending less. 10. The dogs of the Dow are the place to be. Cramer said that all of these predictions were viewed as facts by the bears> Despite all of their attention in the media, however, U.S. markets finished strong, interest rated remained low, oil prices soared, natural gas reserves grew, big pharma out-performed and the dogs of the Dow continued their decline all year long, he said. So as the new year dawns and hope springs eternal, Cramer reminded viewers that most of the bearish arguments they'll hear this year will also be false. Cramer told viewers that he is not totally bullish, he remains at DEFCON 2 regarding Europe and would still avoid the banks at all costs. But the high-yielding dividend stocks, he added, are still a great place to invest.
AT&T's Banner YearCramer kicked off the new year with a week-long series entitled the "Diamonds of the Dow," his top picks from the Dow Jones Industrial Average for 2012. His first pick was in telco, as he compared AT&T ( T), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust,
Stock Super Bowl KickoffIn a new "Stock Super Bowl" series, Cramer pitted two of the top players in the S&P 500 against each other in a play-off match to see who will compete against the best player in the Nasdaq on Thursday. Tonight's contenders were Cabot Oil & Gas ( COG), which delivered a 100.5% return last year, against Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), which returned 79.6%. Cramer said on the surface in might seem difficult to compare a company that makes surgical robots with one that drills for oil and gas, but some stock metrics apply across all sectors, and one of those metrics is the PEG ratio, which compares a stocks P/E multiple with its growth rate. Cramer never advocates buying a stock with a PEG ratio over two, which is why in this round the edge went to Cabot, with a PEG ratio of just 0.9 vs. Intuitive with a PEG ratio of 1.7. Cramer's next metric was takeover potential. He said that Intuitive is too large and rather specialized to be a big takeover candidate, but Cabot is ripe for the picking, especially given all of the merger activity in the oil and gas space. Next up was what Cramer called "home-run" potential, the ability of a company to surprise investors with a big upside surprise. He said that while Intuitive does have some new product roll-outs coming, the advantage once again goes to Cabot, which has the potential to discover even more oil in its already prime oil shale acreage. Cramer's final metric for the match-up was dividends. He said that while both companies pay a small dividend, the advantage goes to Intuitive, since its recurring cash have been directed towards shareholders, while Cabot's earnings almost already get sent for more and more drilling. The final score for this play-off match up? Cramer said it's Intuitive Surgical with six and Cabot Oil & Gas with nine, making Cabot the clear winner.