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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Yes, the markets can do down as well as up, Jim Cramer reminded his "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday after the market's first big down day in a while. The markets put stocks on sale today but the price still wasn't right for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, Cramer said.
Cramer explained that professional investors with cash on hand dream of days like today, days when they can buy all the stocks they've been longing for at a price they're willing to pay. In a bull market, as we've seen, these days are few and far between. Most days the pros find themselves sitting on the sidelines waiting, he said.
That's why, early this morning, Cramer and Stephanie Link poured over the charts, looking for bargains. He said Cisco (CSCO) was down big but he's given up on that company. Meanwhile, Costco (COST) simply didn't fall far enough to make it attractive.
Cramer said he was keen on PVH Corp (PVH) and G-III Apparel (GIII) after speaking to the CEOs of those companies but there, too, the stocks didn't budge. Joy Global (JOY) was at an attractive price, he noted, but upon further review the quarter had lots of negatives and the company deserved its lower price.
All in all, Cramer said, the only stocks that were attractive were the ones he didn't want, which is why he's hoping the markets throw another sale again tomorrow so he can re-evaluate.
Executive Decision: Frank Blake
In his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Frank Blake, chairman and CEO of Home Depot (HD), the home improvement retailer whose shares are up 28% in 2013 as the housing market finally begins to recover.
Blake said Home Depot's philosophy has always been to take care of its customers, associates and communities and the rest will take care of itself. He said his company has excellent leadership and more than 325,000 associates who take care of customers every day.
When asked what's been driving Home Depot's recent growth, Blake said it's a lot more than just interest rates and new home sales, it's also about technology. He explained that technology is entering the home faster than ever before, from Internet-enabled thermostats and locks to new battery technology in power tools, to the many advances in LED lighting. Blake showed off one new LED light bulb with a 22-year lifespan.
As for what's hot this holiday season, Blake said Christmas trees and decorations are always big sellers, as are gifts such as power tool combos plus winter necessities including shovels, ice melt and snowblowers.
More With Frank Blake
Continuing his interview with Frank Blake, CEO of Home Depot, Cramer asked about the overall state of housing in our country. Blake said that with home prices rising, people are once again investing in their homes. He explained that according to his company's research, people with positive equity in their homes are twice as likely to spend than those underwater on their mortgages.
So where are we in the cycle? Blake said multi-generation households are currently at an all-time high, which means there is huge pent-up demand from people who want to move to their own homes. He thinks demand will be unleashed now that the economy is thawing out.
Turning back to the business of Home Depot, Blake said he spends most of his time traveling and visiting as many of Home Depot's stores as he can. Unlike years past, Home Depot is not focused on opening stores but increasing the productivity and efficiency of the thousands of locations already open. Home Depot has lots of competitors in every category, from lumber to flooring to paint, so it can't afford not to continually innovate, he said.
Cramer said he remains a fan of Home Depot.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Avery Dennison (AVY), Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ), Geron (GERN), Melco PBL Entertainment (MPEL), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN), NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Executive Decision: Lee Tillman
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Lee Tillman, president and CEO of Marathon Oil (MRO), which held an analyst meeting today. Shares of Marathon are up 16% so far in 2013 and sport a 2% yield. They trade at 11.8 times earnings with a 10% growth rate.
Tillman said Marathon is focusing on its top and bottom lines, increasing production growth but also managing its existing wells more efficiently. He said his company is selling off some high-quality assets to concentrate the portfolio on the Eagle Ford, Bakken and Woodford regions of the U.S., a move which will reset the company's growth rate to the upside.
When asked about how much oil and gas America could produce, Tillman explained that since 2011 Marathon has doubled its proven reserves to 2.4 billion barrels in just the three areas it's now focused on. He said there's lots of growth still ahead and energy will be a driving force in the U.S. economy for a long time to come.
Turning to the topic of energy independence, Tillman took a slightly different stance, saying he's not a fan of continental independence because prices will always be lowest trading on the global marketplace. However, he is a big supporter of what he called "energy security," where all of America's energy comes from friendly nations. That scenario is possible, he said, and will fundamentally change geopolitics around the globe.
Cramer said he recommends Marathon because it is inexpensive when compared to its peers.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on the return of the "single-digit midgets," stocks such as Rite Aid (RAD), Alcatel Lucent (ALU) and Nokia (NOK), all of which were left for dead but came roaring back in 2013.
Cramer reminded viewers that stocks don't fall into the single digits because things are going well, and most never recover. But in the case of Rite Aid the company transformed into a real competitor and deserves its 308% rise in 2013. Meanwhile, Alcatel fixed its balance sheet and its shares jumped by 227%. Then there's Nokia, which sold its handset business so it could focus on infrastructure, sending its shares up 96% for the year.
Cramer said investors should put no more than 20% of their discretionary portfolios in speculative stocks like these -- but when you get one right, it can make your whole year.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt