Stocks discussed in the in-depth session of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money TV program,Thursday March 20. Click on a stock ticker for more analysis.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) It was once said that “What is good for General Motors is good for the U.S.A.” Cramer thinks GE rather than GM is the barometer of how the U.S. market is doing, since GE is so diversified. GE’s performance indicates to Cramer that the crisis is beginning to end. The company has taken up the Dow this week and is “the stock to watch.”
CEO Hall of Shame: UBS’ (NYSE:UBS) Chairman Marcel Ospel, CEO Marcel Rohner and former CEO Peter Wuffli
Cramer says UBS has been the victim of three executives who have been spending the last seven years running “the great franchise into the ground.” He inducted Chairman Marcel Ospel, CEO Marcel Rohner and former CEO Peter Wuffli to the CEO Hall of Shame. UBS’ recent losses, which Cramer calls “crimes against capitalism” include a $3.7 billion loss on Oct. 30, a $10 billion write down in December and a $4 billion write-down in January. The feds are currently investigating the company over alleged inflated prices for mortgage bonds.
Cramer would look to high-dividend stocks for safety, and likes HCP, which is a real estate trust dealing with healthcare, an area not affected by recession. The company pays a sustainable dividend of 5.8%, is reducing its exposure to Medicaid, and is rapidly paying down its debt. Cramer thinks this is the right stock at the right time and thinks there may be a REIT rally soon.
Bring Back the Uptick Rule
Cramer said the SEC were a bunch of “morons” for repealing the uptick rule that had been in place since 1929 and which, according to Cramer, might have preventing the astounding lows the market has been seeing lately. The law, which was taken off the books in July 2007, requires a buyer to pay for a stock at a price higher than its last sale (or uptick) before it can be sold short, which allowed a stock to rise a bit before falling. The SEC thought the market was safe without this rule because of smaller spread, liquidity and greater transparency, but Cramer pointed out liquidity is drying up and spreads don’t matter. He doubts Bear Stearns would have been crushed so quickly and dramatically if this rule had been on the books, and commented we are seeing action resembling that of the 1930s market without the law. Cramer encouraged viewers to write members of Congress to reinstate the uptick rule, since there will be “no peace in the markets” until it is back on the books.
Mad Mail: Foster Wheeler (FWLT), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
Cramer says he loves FWLT which is the best in the sector. It is down 50% and if it goes to $40, he would put as much as 20% of a portfolio in the stock. Another viewer asked about Cramers “bank” stocks, or non-financial companies that have a lot of cash. Cramer says Intel is good because it discloses its investments, and recently raised its dividend. “I don’t like Intel this quarter, I like it for the future,” he said.
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