So on the Hook - Cramer's Stop Trading! (10/15/08)

Includes: AIG, M, STT, UPLMQ
by: Joan Wickham

Recap of Jim Cramer's comments on Stop Trading! Wednesday October 15.

We Are So on the Hook – American International Group (NYSE:AIG)

A legal review of AIG’s December 2007 analyst meeting would be “indictment city,” Cramer said. Among other assurances, AIG said then that its losses would total $500 million. “I think they left off three zeros,” Cramer said. AIG’s situation grew so dire that the U.S. government had to step in, taking an 80% in the company in exchange for $85 billion. Unlike other investments the government might make as part of its $750 billion bailout plan, the stake taken in AIG probably will never show a return. “We are so on the hook to AIG, that will prove to be an unbelievable black hole that will last forever,” Cramer said.  “I don’t know which was worse, taking them over or letting Lehman fail.” Martin Sullivan, AIG’s CEO at the time of that analyst meeting, could be on the “hot seat,” Cramer said, with U.S. attorneys.

What’s to Like – Ultra Petroleum (UPL)

As for stocks that are working right now, Cramer likes the natural gas sector. While natural gas prices are the same as they were last year at this time, the sector’s stocks have been cut in half or by two-thirds. Cramer thinks that either Wall Street expects the price of natural gas to drop to $3 from about $6 or the stocks have been incorrectly valued. Ultra Petroleum is one of Cramer’s top natural gas picks. The company operates with such low costs that natural gas could drop as low at $5 and Ultra Petroleum should still make money.

Bear Target - State Street (NYSE:STT), Macy’s (NYSE:M)

State Street reported a technically better-than-expected quarter today. "Was it really better than expected?" Cramer asked. "I think that they're protected, because hey were going to be the next one that the shorts operated on." A deal was reached Monday between Washington and a few major U.S. banks. That deal should put a stop to bear raids in the financial sector, but it looks like the shorts have moved on to retail. Macy’s is down to $9 from $19.46 just a month ago.

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