Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: A New Dawn for Europe?

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's always darkest before the dawn, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Thursday, and the dawn may finally be at hand for Europe. If that's true, he added, then it will be a game-changer for the stock market.

Cramer said he hasn't mentioned Europe of late because up until a few weeks ago there hasn't been anything positive to say. The European markets were continuing to weaken because the central bank opted to raise, rather than lower, interest rates. As the continent's economy ground to a halt, it took China with it because Europe is the largest market for Chinese goods.

But starting two weeks ago, things began to change, Cramer continued. As earnings began rolling in, companies including Eaton ( ETN), PPG ( PPG), Avnet ( AVT) and Timken ( TKR) all came on "Mad Money" and said that Europe was finally beginning to bottom.

That trend was confirmed by many of the European banks, which reported better-than-expected numbers, along with General Motors ( GM), which indicated sales are beginning to turn positive.

Cramer said with the European Central Bank lowering interest rates just today, it is finally signaling it is interested in making things better rather than worse -- a move that will be a boon for U.S. companies that have been making their European operations leaner and getting ready for the turn that may be at hand now.

If Europe turns positive, it will instantly boost the stocks of U.S. industrials, minerals, oil and gas, banks and technology stocks, said Cramer. It could be the key to higher prices the markets have been waiting for.

Executive Decision: David Pyott

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with David Pyott, chairman, president and CEO of Allergan ( AGN), a company that has seen its shares slide 13% in Wednesday's trading after announcing disappointing data for two of its early-stage drugs.

Pyott started off on a positive note, saying that just today a U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee has recommended approval for its drug Voluma. That positive news is on top of the company's 1-cent-a-share earnings beat on better-than-expected revenue.

As for the disappointing data, Pyott explained the two drugs in question were only in Stage II testing and the company was not expecting approval anytime soon, but at the tail end of its five-year plan. With the most recent data, he said delays are expected to add an additional one to two years to those estimates as Allergan explores the effects of higher dosages of both medications.

Pyott said Allergan is still committed to both projects and is still optimistic both will provide benefits.

With the stock having fallen so far on the news, Cramer said investors are now getting both of those long-term opportunities essentially for free at current levels. He said Allergan remains a great company with terrific management.

Back to the Drill

After the horrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico three years ago, is it finally time to "drill, baby, drill," once again? Cramer thinks so, which is why he's bullish on a number of oil companies operating in the region.

Cramer said that, believe it or not, BP ( BP) is a buy at these levels because the Gulf oil spill woes are largely behind it and estimate bumps and upgrades are likely as production continues to ramp up. As for damages from the spill, Cramer said BP has already set aside $41 billion to settle claims, so any judgement less than that huge amount would be seen as a plus for the company.

As the drilling moratorium and restrictions continue to ease in the Gulf, Cramer said that other Gulf drillers will also prosper, including Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), a company whose reserves are likely understated. Also making the list, Chevron ( CVX) and ConocoPhillips ( COP), the latter of which Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS .

Finally Cramer said that Cameron International ( CAM), a company that makes equipment used in difficult oil extractions both onshore and offshore, is seeing a rising backlog of business and could easily be a takeover target.

Cramer said any of these companies should see many positive years ahead of them now that the dark days have finally passed.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Akamai Technologies ( AKAM), American Tower ( AMT) and Gilead Sciences ( GILD).

Executive Decision: James Foster

In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with James Foster, chairman, president and CEO of Charles River Laboratories ( CRL), a supplier to the biotech industry that recently reported a two-cents-a-share earnings miss on lighter-than-expected revenue.

Foster explained that with so many big drugs losing patent protection, the drug industry has been more focused than ever on early-phase drug discovery and is putting an emphasis on completing research that's already in the pipeline. Both of those trends are good news for Charles River, which helps drug companies and biotechs by outsourcing much of the drug development work, allowing them to focus on what they do best -- drug discovery.

Foster said that for drug companies it's more critical than ever to make go-no go decisions as early in the process as possible. Charles River helps them achieve that goal.

When asked about the effects of the government sequester on the company's government sales, Foster said that he is beginning to see some effects of the mandatory budget cuts but expects those effects to be modest.

Cramer said that with so much research and development underway, it only makes sense Charles River will be a big beneficiary.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said those investors betting on a decline in the insurance stocks will be sorely disappointed. He said many of these stocks, including Prudential ( PRU), Hartford ( HIG) and Travelers ( TRV), are springing back to life, which is why he owns Hartford for Action Alerts PLUS.

Cramer said that even American International Group ( AIG) is ready to offer investors some juicy returns, which is why now is the time to step up to the plate and buy, buy, buy.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

-- 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 a position in COP, ETN, HIG and TKR.

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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Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

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