(Story updated to add Cramer's Lighting Round picks, his analysis of a stock that two analysts disagreed on, and his closing remarks on the poor timing of Apple's dividend.) NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors need to put this market into context. Taken by itself, investors might be puzzled about the rise in U.S. stocks, said Jim Cramer on his "Mad Money" TV show Monday. But he reminded viewers that money knows no borders, and every country has pension plans and wealthy individuals looking for places to invest their money. All of that money he said, has to go somewhere. But where? China's stock market is still struggling, noted Cramer, as that country attempts to stave off a housing collapse. Meanwhile Russia remains the wild west of investing. India has terrible inflation, while Brazil is seeing a dramatic slowdown in growth. Investing in Europe remains dicey, said Cramer. And that only leaves America. "America is the worst place to invest," said Cramer, "except for all those other countries." Even within the American markets, investors still have options, he said. Investors could choose bonds, but returns there remain stagnant. Investors could choose real estate, but the turn there may take years. Filtering out all other options, there only remains U.S. stocks, said Cramer. Investors have a right to be skeptical of stocks too, admitted Cramer, after the financial meltdown, flash crash, Ponsi schemes, insider trading scandals and bankruptcies. But at some point, stocks get so cheap that they're just too attractive to pass up. So with companies like Apple ( AAPL), a stock which Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Read to RunWith such a terrific move happening in the banks stocks, Cramer said it's time to recommend even a worst-of-breed stock, like SunTrust Banks ( STI), a stock that he said is a coiled spring, waiting to snap back into action. Cramer explained that while SunTrust failed the Federal Reserve's stress tests last week, the only one of the banks tested to fail, the company also raised its earnings guidance that same day. According to Cramer, the stress tests, which assumed a 13% unemployment rate, a 50% drop in the stock market and a 20% dip in housing prices, don't really matter, at the stock has already rallied 8.6% since the failing grade was announced. What's most important at SunTrust, said Cramer, is that the company has the most earnings power of any regional bank. After becoming a beloved regional bank throughout the Southeast, Cramer said SunTrust lost its way, expanding too rapidly into the about-to-be-hard-hit Florida market. The result was a stock that crashed and burned in spectacular fashion, he noted. But with the Florida economy on the mend, and SunTrust taking $300 million in costs off its books, Cramer said this is one bank that's ready to run. 2008, he said the stock could achieve half of that level, which correlates to an SunTrust currently trades at a tremendous discount to its peers, said Cramer, and while the stock isn't likely to repeat the $81 a share high it saw in 81% rise from current levels.
Tech's All About Innovation"Technology is not about computers, it's about innovation," Cramer reminded viewers, as he recommended the latest of his non-tech technology companies, Colgate-Palmolive ( CL). Cramer said Colgate is an innovation engine that's taking market share all over the world. So what makes Colgate so special in a world where competition from cheaper, private label alternatives are all the rage? Cramer said it's Colgate's unique ability to rapidly take ideas from consumers and bring them to market as well as specifically targeting those ideas only to the regions of the world where they will have the most impact. Even in an industry as mundane as toothpaste, Colgate remains a global leader, with 44.3% market share, thanks to dozens of new, whitening formulas. Colgate has also innovated in everything from healthier pet foods to dishwashing detergent that not only cleans dishes but also helps your sponges smell fresher. Cramer said Colgate also remains a powerhouse internationally as well, with the company deriving 35% of its operating income from Latin America. Colgate dominates the toothpaste market in Mexico, for example, with an 80% marketshare. Part of Colgate's success rests in the fact that he company doesn't just target the big retailers, noted Cramer, but also smaller, mom-and-pop retailers. While higher commodity costs are a concern for Colgate, Cramer said these fears are largely baked into its share price already. The company trades at just 16 times earnings, but he said it deserves a premium multiple, especially after the company recently boosted its dividend to 2.6%.