Recap of Jim Cramer's radio show on Wednesday, May 17 . Click on a stock ticker for more analysis:
General comment: Downturn and the Consumer Price Index
Cramer blames rapidly declining stocks on the CPI, or the Consumer Price Index, which was released yesterday morning. The CPI gauges what the prices consumers pay, and it was up 0.6% in April with the core CPI up 0.3%. These numbers warn of inflation which, in turn, influences the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, encouraging investors to take their money out of the stock market and to put it in the bank.
Cramer suggests buying now while the prices are low, but not to purchase an a position all at once, because it is hard to know when a stock has hit bottom.
*Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ): The company reported a "monster Quarter" and a 50% increase in earnings, thanks to great management by CEO Mark Hurd and aggressive cost-cutting strategies. Hewlett-Packard is trouncing Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) which reports slow growth. Cramer recommends holding on to Dell until it goes up a bit, and then selling
*Banks : Banks are trying to create a more comfortable atmosphere for their customers, and banks such as Wachovia (NASDAQ:WB) and PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) are installing customer-friendly features, such as child areas and coffee bars, in their branches. This trend toward making banking more "comfortable" was started by Commerce Bancorp (CBH), one of the top three banks touted by Cramer, along with Citibank (NYSE:C) and J.P. Morgan (NYSE:JPM).
*Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF): Cramer is very bullish on ANF after the company reported a "monster quarter", yet is up only 11 times earnings. It is a cheap retailer, and is weathering the current stock market storm quite well.
*General Motors (NYSE:GM): Cramer says that GM is a "favorite auto stock for a trade" and could go higher, perhaps to $40.
*Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): Cramer feels that people are more concerned with whether or not Apple's itunes and computers will compete rather than the outcome of the lawsuit brought against the company. In spite of challenges, Apple is growing 21% and sells at only 30 times earnings.
*Diebold (NYSE:DBD): This producer of voting machines and ATMs will grow, according to Cramer, as there is worldwide demand for ATMs and the Justice Department will create a "brisk business" for voting machines.
*Toyota (NYSE:TM): Has fallen 15 points because of a weak dollar. Cramer says this stock is worth buying now.
*AES (NYSE:AES): Cramer suggests not selling this stock yet, and, even though it is outperforming all the major utility companies, to buy it only in increments, if at all.
*Trinity Industries (NYSE:TRN):The largest manufacturer of railcars in the world, Trinity is up %140, and it looks like investors will hold on to it for a while.
*Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR): This stock is up 108% and has a 263% return year-on-year. Cramer says it isn't yet finished going up.
*Contextant (NASDAQ:CNXT-RETIRED) and JDSU (JDSU): Cramer recommends waiting a bit for these stocks to fall before buying.
More: Cramer's latest stock picks, including: Mad Money Recap, Lightening Round, Stop Trading and his Radio Show.