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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Washington frightfest is almost over, according to Jim Cramer. He told "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday it will be time soon to enjoy the fact that politics no longer matter to the markets. The markets have overcome two of three big hurdles: the presidential election and the fiscal cliff. That leaves only the looming debt ceiling debate, and this last obstacle is actually the least worrisome, Cramer said. The thing the markets feared most the last time the debt ceiling reared its ugly head was a U.S. debt downgrade, said Cramer, and that's exactly what it it got a little over a year ago. Except that when the downgrade happened, the world didn't end as predicted. Cramer said this time around won't be any different. The media has a tendency to over-hype these events, which is why new regulations haven't crippled the banks and why another debt downgrade won't cripple the economy. When push comes to shove, there has to be a debt ceiling deal because no politician gets re-elected if the government shuts down and Social Security checks don't go out on time, Cramer explained. In the meantime, even if we have to call ourselves the United States of Three-Ring Circuses, once the deal is done and certainty returns to the markets there will be a flood of new money rushing in. That's why investors need to ignore the doom and gloom reporting and the wave of analyst downgrades, said Cramer, because the time to invest is before that money flows in, not afterwards.
Executive DecisionIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Michael Sutherlin, president and CEO of Joy Global ( JOY), the mining equipment maker that forecast a turn in the Chinese economy back on Sept. 13 when Cramer last spoke with Sutherlin. Sutherlin said his company continues to see improvement in China and is seeing a pickup in demand for everything from electricity to steel production to truck volumes to exports. He said there's also a restocking story occurring in China, as power plants have reduced their inventory for coal from 31 days to just 18, while steelmakers have dropped their supplies from 18 days to just 12. As demand picks up, said Sutherlin, those levels will need to be replenished, something that will most likely occur in the second half of 2013.
Looking for DiscountsAfter being on a roll for the past few years, the dollar stores are now getting crushed, Cramer told viewers, but that doesn't mean there aren't any discount retailers worth owning. Cramer said that all of the dollar stores, including Dollar General ( DG), Family Dollar ( FDO) and Dollar Tree ( DLTR), have been rolling over the past few months, with Family Dollar falling over 25%. That should come as no surprise, he said, as Dollar Tree reported stalled same store sales in Nov, while Dollar General reported falling gross margins and Family Dollar missed earnings by a full six cents a share. What's to blame for the weakness? Cramer said the dollar stores are getting squeezed by the likes of Wal-Mart ( WMT) and a reinvigorated Target ( TGT) as well as by drugstore chains like CVS Caremark ( CVS). In addition, the dollar stores are facing tough comparisons, ones they aren't likely to beat. Cramer said the dollar stores are attractive on a valuation basis, with Dollar Tree trading at 14 times earnings, Dollar General at 13 times and Family Dollar at 13.5 times, while historically they fetch between 16 and 17 times earnings. But with no catalyst to help them get there, he said buying them now would be a "no no." So what should investors consider buying? Cramer said why not consider Five Below ( FIVE), the chain with 243 locations that has seen its shares almost double since its IPO last year? Five Below posted better than expected earnings that sent shares up over 8% today and even a secondary offering of stock wasn't enough to knock them off their game.
Lightning RoundIn the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Total SA ( TOT) and Cisco Systems ( CSCO). Cramer was bearish on Antares Pharma ( ATRS), > Chesapeake Energy ( CHK) and EMC ( EMC).