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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Be gloomy, be critical and be angry, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday -- just realize the stock market is "giving it all she's got," as Star Trek's Scotty would say. It's easy to be negative on the markets, especially with our warring parties in Washington continuing the worst standoff since 1860 before the Civil War. Our politicians won't even agree to fix the problem before taking their winter vacations, said Cramer, let alone agree on any portion of a solution. But while the markets have their eyes trained on Washington, Cramer said individual companies such as Starbucks ( SBUX) are telling a different story one of growth and prosperity. He said Starbucks' analyst day had only positive things to say, including no deceleration in China. Then there's Apple ( AAPL), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust,
Executive DecisionIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Drew Alexander, president and CEO of Weingarten Realty Investors ( WRI), a real estate investment trust with 301 properties in 12 states and a 4.28% dividend yield. Alexander was upbeat on his company's business model, which focuses on supermarket-anchored shopping centers in metropolitan areas. He said these centers bring in people on a regular basis and are the most recession-resistant opportunities out there. Weingarten has both tenant diversify and geographic diversity to help it succeed.
When asked about that diversity, Alexander said that even in depressed areas like Las Vegas, people still buy groceries, eat at restaurants and get their hair cut, all of which they can do at a Weingarten shopping center. By sticking to locations with high population densities, Alexander said his company has weathered the housing bubble quite well. Turning to the threat posed by Internet retail, Alexander was also not worried. He said the Internet does pose a threat to the margins at some retailers but others are far more immune. Many retailers are moving to a hybrid "bricks and clicks" model, he said, which is affording them the best of both worlds. Finally, when asked about the company's decision to divest its industrial properties, Alexander said the markets were looking for a more focused company, and by divesting its industrial properties the company got that as well as lower leverage. Cramer said Weingarten is one REIT he should have recommended a long time ago.
South of the BorderForget about China. Investors looking for a booming economy need to look no further than our friends south of the border. Mexico's economy is on fire and the best way to play the move is with railroad Kansas City Southern ( KSU), a stock that's just $6 off its highs. Cramer said Kansas City Southern is his new favorite rail stock based simply on geography. The company first entered Mexico in 1996 and currently has a 6,600-mile network of rails that spans from Kansas south through the heart of Mexico's industrial corridor. Autos will be a key driver for Kansas City Southern because Mexico's output of cars is expected to increase from 2.5 million a year to 3.5 million. This comes at a time when the railroad is reducing its costs, thereby expanding its margins. Unlike many other rails that are levered to U.S. coal usage, Kansas City is not as cyclical and has exposure to the Bakken shale region of the country, where oil and gas is being shipped by rail because enough pipelines have yet to be built to get the precious cargo where it needs to go.
Shares of Kansas City Southern are up a modest 14% so far this year and trade at 18.9 times earnings with a 16% growth rate. Cramer said that's pricey compared to 12.8 times and 14% for Union Pacific ( UNP), but in this case investors get what they pay for... growth.