Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: An Incredibly Resilient Market

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- An ugly market close but where was the carnage? Jim Cramer asked on CNBC's "Mad Money" Tuesday. Where was the mass destruction in the face of what could be the worst Washington showdown since the Obama administration took over?

We should be going down hard now, but stocks have stayed resilient, he said. We could be in for a long period of rancor and indecision. He wondered, maybe the market is saying there won't be a showdown?

Cramer said maybe people believe that even if there is no deal immediately, there might be one down the road. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has successfully kept rates down, and lower rates buttress the valuation of so many stocks, especially bond-market equivalent stocks.

Remember, we should never fight the Fed, even when we think it's out of bullets, Cramer said.

Another factor in why the market hasn't collapsed is housing, he said. Perhaps the market sees lower mortgage rates reigniting the housing business, even after what looks like a pause of several months. After all, the market was willing to overlook a key orders number from homebuilder Lennar ( LEN).

Add to that foreign markets that are incredibly robust such as the Baltic Exchange Dry Index, which has almost doubled from its July low, signaling that China is starting to order raw materials again. Additionally, the European Central Bank commissioners are saying they will remain accomodative because the recovery is so fragile.

What else? Mergers and acquisitions activism and breakup pressures are making this a very difficult environment for short-sellers, oil is finally coming down now that Iran is finally acting nice at the United Nations, and the auto market is seeing improvement, as seen by Carmax ( KMX), which reported outstanding sales and earnings Tuesday.

The bottom line: We can't be sure why the debt drama hasn't crushed the markets, Cramer said. Maybe the market is dead wrong. But it could be a sign that some of the positives are playing out, making the sailing a lot smoother than we'd expect, Cramer said.

Executive Decision: Stuart Miller

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Stuart Miller, CEO of Lennar. Cramer said that while some homebuilding stocks were hurting today, Lennar posted a terrific quarter, finishing the day 4.66% higher after beating top- and bottom-line consensus for the third quarter. However, new orders were up only 14% year over year, below Wall Street's expectations, Cramer said.

As to the limited inventory in the housing market, Miller said the dominant theme for housing over the next few years is filling the hole of production that has not been filled over the past year. If you look at the average during the downturn, Lennar was delivering about 700,000 homes per year, Miller said. The need in the country by population is 1.2 million to 1.5 million.

There will be speed bumps that derive from interest rates, public policy, international events, but the three-to-five-year trajectory in Lennar's view is generally positive.

Housing services and financial services will be driving Lennar's short-term quarterly performance, Miller said. These products are the core and he feels the company is extremely well-positioned in those two areas.

Cramer asked Miller how fluctuating interest rates will affect his business in September and beyond. As things stand right now, lower interest rates are brining customers and traffic back to the field, Miller said, and he reiterated his prediction of a steady rebound in housing in the long-term.

Executive Decision: Dan Hesse

In his second "Executive Decision" interview, Cramer spoke to Sprint ( S) CEO Dan Hesse. After the record-breaking weekend for Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone sales, Cramer is eyeing the wireless sector, and Sprint is one of his favorite plays in the sector. Sprint has both the spectrum and the deep pockets needed to finish building out its next-generation 4G LTE network to compete with Verizon ( VZ) and AT&T ( T).

Since Hesse's last appearance 13 months ago, Japanese telecom SoftBank has acquired an 80% stake in Sprint.

The demand for the iPhone 5c and 5s is strong, Hesse said -- a little bit too strong since Sprint is beginning to run out of inventory, especially the higher-end 5s version.

Shutting down the 3G Nextel network at the beginning of this quarter was an unprecedented "rip-and-replace," the most massive network change ever attempted, Hesse told Cramer. He said the company wants to "keep our powder dry until the networks are great." Sprint plans to increase its 4G LTE coverage to 200 million people by the end of 2013.

Hesse said Sprint will be spending $8 billion on capital expenditures this year. In 2008 and 2009, that figure was $2 billion annually.

Hesse said he hopes Sprint could achieve a net gain on Verizon and AT&T in 2014. Replacing networks takes time, and the new spectrum will be cutting-edge. This will not be a great subscriber year, Hesse said, having lost Nextel customers as well as some Sprint subscribers during the network transition, but he is taking the long-term view.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Gogo ( GOGO), Cisco ( CSCO) and Advanced Micro Devices ( AMD),

Cramer was bearish on Motorola Solutions ( MSI), Pacific Coast Oil Trust ( ROYT), Brunswick ( BC), HD Supply ( HDS) and Uni-Pixel ( UNXL).

Executive Decision: Jon Rich

Plastics packaging and consumer materials maker

Berry Plastics Group ( BERY) came public about a year ago, Cramer said. The company announced Monday the production of the only recyclable cup that can be used for both hot and cold applications, Cramer said.

So in his final "Executive Decision" interview, Cramer talked to Berry CEO Jon Rich. Cramer asked why the diminished prediction of a 10% sales drop for the third quarter, year over year.

Demand remains muted, Rich said. The consumer is still cautious and has been soft all year long. Raw material costs rose significantly, a result of increasing oil prices. In the short term, investors can see Berry as a play on the price of oil, Rick said. Long term, the company is very excited about North American shale gas discovery.

The company's new Versalite product is a breakthrough offering, said Rich. He said that 130 billion disposable cups are used by Americans every year, with 80 billion going into landfills.

The Versalite plastic cup is made entirely of #5 polypropylene. The breakthrough sustainabilty product, Rich said, uses lower energy and produces less carbon than other thermal management goods on the market.

Berry's stock took a huge hit from where it was, Cramer said, but is still up nicely from where he thought it was a buy.

No Huddle Offense

The status quo won't cut it any more, Cramer said. Look at today. Semiconductor company Applied Materials ( AMAT) bid $9.49 billion for Tokyo Electron, the largest-ever foreign takeover of a Japanese firm. Cramer doubted that the deal will gain approval from regulators.

Greenway Medical Technologies ( GWAY), fresh off an IPO two years ago, offered to sell itself to private equity firm Vista Equity Partners Tuesday, sending its stock price up 19%.

Even after a great run that has seen it rise nearly 43% this year, Cramer sees additional upside for Bob Evans Farms ( BOBE). It sells at 21 times earnings, and he could see Bob Evans trading up 20 points from its current level should Hillshire Brands ( HSH) make a bid for Bob Evans' pork sausage business,

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

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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 a position in CSCO.

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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