Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Some Rays of Hope

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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, Action Alerts PLUS. Cramer said while the market pundits cited dozens of reasons for this stock's decline, there is indeed only one: capital gains taxes.

Cramer said it's reasonable to think capital gains taxes are headed higher on Jan. 1, so wouldn't it be reasonable for investors to take profits in one of the biggest gainers of all time? He said if you divide Apple's stock price by 10, you have a $57 stock falling to $53 today, and that's not all that scary when you put it into perspective.

Cramer also commented on Citigroup ( C) announcing 11,000 layoffs Wednesday. He said this company's new management team is taking some tough medicine but it's needed for Citigroup to prosper, which it is starting to once again. Even Bank of America ( BAC) is trading over $10 a share, Cramer added, so all can't be lost.

Executive Decision

In 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 Border

Forget 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.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Michael Kors ( KORS), Morgan Stanley ( MS), Wells Fargo ( WFC), International Paper ( IP), Yahoo! ( YHOO), American Electric Power ( AEP), Tractor Supply ( TSCO) and EQT Corp ( EQT).

Cramer was bearish on Cabot Oil & Gas ( COG).

Am I Diversified?

In the "Am I Diversified?" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.

The first portfolio included: Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE), Cisco ( CSCO), Groupon ( GRPN), Broadcom ( BRCM) and Banco Santander ( SAN).

Cramer said Cisco and Broadcom were too similar and suggested selling Cisco and Groupon and adding a biotech and an industrial stock to complete this portfolio.

The second portfolio's top holdings included: General Mills ( GIS), Procter & Gamble ( PG), Kellogg ( K), IBM ( IBM) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM).

Cramer said he'd sell General Mills and add in a bank and a drug stock to diversify this portfolio.

The third portfolio had: Kellogg, Norfolk Southern ( NSC), Walt Disney ( DIS), Abbott Labs ( ABT) and Bank of America as its top five stocks.

Cramer said this portfolio was perfect and he wouldn't change a thing.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said there was not one, but two big deals in the oil patch today. Unfortunately, they were both bad ones and they both involved the same company, Freeport McMoRan ( FCX).

Cramer said Freeport massively overpaid for Plains Exploration ( PXP) and McMoran Exploration ( MMR), which justifies the company's 16% loss in its share price Wednesday.

McMoran Exploration's latest project in the Gulf has been a disaster, said Cramer, which makes one wonder why Freeport would pay up 87% for the company. Likewise, Plains Exploration owns a sizable chunk of McMoran, raising eyebrows all around.

Cramer said Freeport McMoRan used to be a pure play on copper, but now has muddied the waters by adding oil. He advised selling all three companies by Thursday at the latest.

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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had positions in ABT, AAPL, JPM, SBUX and WFC.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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