Cramer observes that investors are flocking to gold because when they see that the dollar is down and bonds are rallying, they assume that the economy is in decline and "They want to sell all of their stocks and buy gold." Although Cramer believes that the economy is still healthy, perceptions of weakness will be good for gold, since "yellow metal will always be the refuge when times are tough." His favorite stock in the sector is AUY which is "on a roll" at its 52-week high, even though other gold companies such as Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining do not have strong growth prospects. He prefers AUY to BVN because the latter is not a pure play and mines in Peru, which is shaky politically.
Cramer predicted that ATI would be one of the best-performing stocks of 2006, and with a 144% increase to $88.06 from $36.05 last year, ATI has been rated as the top performer of the S&P 500. Investors should take some profits from ATI, but it's success is still a "cue to buy" and is worth picking up because steel and titanium are still in bull mode and ATI produces metals for BA, and will benefit from gains in the aerospace sector. Cramer reassures investors that these metals are less cyclical than regular steel and not to be worried about ATI's huge run: "Don't be scared --- be a buyer!"
Usually Cramer avoids relying on past trends since stocks behave differently from year to year, but he noted that from 1985 to 2005, the S&P index has been up at the beginning of December, and the trend has been most notable in the past three years. In spite of worries about the market, Cramer suggested investors check out the top five stocks in the index: Allegheny Tech, Nvidia, OfficeMax, Big Lots and Nucor. Cramer says that Nvidia, which is up 94% since last year, is a buy as a play on video-game graphics. Although OMX faces fierce competition with Staples (SPLS), it is a good momentum trade, and also prefers it to Big Lots. Cramer would pick up ATI instead of Nucor, which is up 80%. Cramer suggested putting half a position in ATI, Nvidia and Office Max, to buy the other half if the numbers are low on Friday, and to hold the stocks at least until December 31.
Related: Yaser Anwar discusses Nvidia's strengths.
CEO Interview: Mackey McDonald VF Corp (VFC)
When asked about the apparent bubble in apparel stocks, Mackey McDonald replied, "If you're marketing stronger brands with great new innovative products then there's a lot more room for improvement. And I'd put VF Corp into that category." McDonald said that the North Face brand has a "broad" appeal among consumers, especially those who are interested in the outdoors. When Cramer commented that perhaps VF should buy Timberland (TBL), McDonald was reluctant to discuss specific acquisitions. Cramer gave VF Corp two thumbs way up.
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