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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Never play poker with a man named Ben," Jim Cramer quipped to "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Benanke surprised Wall Street by announcing no tapering to the Fed's bond-buying activities. How could so many smart investors on Wall Street get it wrong? Cramer said it's because the Fed chief completely changed direction since his last comments. The facts changed since Bernanke last spoke which meant Ben needed to change his mind. Cramer said Bernanke has proven to be highly adaptable in an ever-changing market, and over the last few weeks many things have changed. First, the housing market has slowed significantly as interest rates spiked. Second, those rates spiked a lot higher than anyone expected they would. Then there are the many companies, especially those in retail, that have announced that things are getting worse, not better, going into the second half of the year. Finally, there's Washington, which Bernanke admitted today, can only have a negative impact on the economy. In essence, Cramer said the markets tapered themselves, which meant the Fed had no choice but to stay its current course. That makes for a binary market, with domestic companies meeting estimates that are too high, while those companies that export to the rest of the world having estimates that will be far too low. Just as Bernanke adapted to changing conditions, so, too, must investors, Cramer concluded,. The markets are shaping up to have a very interesting fourth quarter.
Executive Decision: Don WoodIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Don Wood, president and CEO of Federal Realty Trust ( FRT), the shopping center real estate investment trust that's seen its shares rise just1% for 2013 as investors fled high-yielding stocks and returned to fixed-income investments. Shares of Federal Realty currently yield 3%. Wood said that since the lows of 2008, not only has the economy been getting better but so has Federal Realty. He said his company has been replacing bankrupt tenants with newer, more relevant ones paying far more for their leases, which is evident by a 22% increase in overall lease rates and a continued uptick in occupancy rates.
Yet More Anointed StocksFor the next installment of his "Anointed Stocks" series of red-hot stocks that will continue their run into the end of the year, Cramer turned the spotlight onto the financials, mainly the top five best performing stocks of E*Trade Financial ( ETFC), Lincoln National ( LNC), Genworth Financial ( GNW), Assurant ( AIZ) and Charles Schwab ( SCHW). Cramer said that both E*Trade and Schwab are benefiting from a pickup in trading volumes and have the added benefit of doing even better as short-term interest rates rise. In fact, a 1% increase in rates equates to a 50-cents-a-share earnings bump of Schwab, and those increases will be coming sooner or later, said Cramer. Turning to the top three insurers, Cramer said that Lincoln National derives 40% of its earnings from investment spreads, and will also prosper as interest rates normalize. Meanwhile, now is the right time to buy Genworth, said Cramer, as this mortgage insurer can only rise from its current lowered levels. And Assurant remains a forward-thinking insurer with a solid track record of delivering on its promises. Cramer reiterated that as the year draws to a close, fund managers will be piling into all of these names so they can show their shareholders that they too own the best performing names. He said that any of these five stocks will make great investments going into the end of the year.