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Stocks discussed on the in-depth session of Jim Cramer's Mad Money TV Program, Tuesday March 3.

10 Signs of Hope: Altera (NASDAQ:ALTR), Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX), U.S. Steel (NYSE:X)

While Cramer usually regards hope as merely a crutch in a normal market, it may be useful for look for things to inspire hope, given the climate is so dismal.

1. Timothy Geithner broke his silence and discussed current problems. Even though there is no clear solution, the fact he is talking is a good sign

2. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is talking about a new TALP plan that will help asset-backed facilities.

3. The market rallied briefly on Altera and Xilinx's positive guidance.

4. The London copper inventory is dwindling, which may indicate commodities may be on the way back up.

5. China is unstoppable and is up 13.5% for the year.

6. Things just can't get any worse for many stocks; U.S. Steel has fallen farther than it did during The Great Depression.

7. Oil is putting in a bottom.

8. Houses are affordable, and Cramer reiterated his prediction that housing will bottom by summer.

9. Many companies are not only not cutting their dividends, but are raising them. There is a significant number of stocks with 4-5% yields.

10. Once the sellers are finished, the market will bottom.

The Silver Lining: SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD), Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM), iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV)
Cramer has been talking about "Obama-proofing" a portfolio; one way is to make sure that 20% of holdings are in precious metals. He has discussed his favorite gold picks: Agnico Eagle Mines and SPDR Gold Shares. There is also room in a portfolio for silver. An investor can either own the metal itself or buy iShares Silver Trust. Silver is trading at the largest discount to gold in 13 years; one ounce of gold would buy 72 ounces of silver. While Cramer thinks this downward trend in silver will end, it might drop a bit further before bottoming. Therefore, he would buy on scale on the way down; "Never chase, just bid," he said.

Off the Charts: Big Lots (NYSE:BIG), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO)

Cramer compared the charts and fundamentals of Family Dollar and Big Lots to see which one is the best tradedown play. According to the chart, Big Lots seems to be bottoming, and its 50-day moving average is catching up with the share price. Apparently, buying is more aggressive on the dips and selling is tapering off. Family Dollar is caught in a triangle pattern, and every attempt to break out upward is blocked by selling pressure. It appears that Family Dollar's supply is too heavy and the stock will fall back lower. However, Cramer, ever the fundamentalist, says in spite of the superiority of Big Lot's chart of Family Dollar's, he cannot accept the Big Lot's business model, which involves closing out inventory. Every retailer is using this strategy to stay afloat, and Cramer thinks that ultimately this strategy will fail Big Lots.
Cramer's Outrage: Tuition Hikes

Cramer is furious with the University of Pennsylvania, which announced it will raise tuition by 3.8% to compensate for a 19% reduction in its endowment. This is not the time to raise tuition, but to lower rates to make a college education affordable to all. He said the policy of putting endowments before education has to end, and he would not donate to such endowment to protest the way many institutions of higher learning treat their students.

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Source: Cramer's Mad Money - 10 Signs of Hope (3/3/09)