Recap of Jim Cramer's radio show on Wednesday May 24. Click on a stock ticker for more analysis:
General comment: The Federal Reserve and a "schizophrenic" Market
Cramer blames the Federal Reserve's caution about growth as the cause of the market's "schizophrenic" behavior. On Wednesday, stocks went up along with orders for durable goods, then went down again as soon as data showed increased economic activity. "The market will go down each time commodity prices go up," predicted Cramer, since higher commodity prices raise consumer prices, which give rise to inflation. Although there is a huge supply of copper, there isn't enough of the metal to meet demand, especially in China. The skyrocketing prices in commodities, such as copper, encourage the Fed to raise interest rates and to "put the brakes" on economic growth.
Cramer discussed recent stories in the press about companies that are being investigated by the Justice Department over allegedly backdating the strike price of their stock to the lowest level for the quarter. This practice allows the executives to make an instant profit. The involvement of the Justice Department is more serious than an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, because the Justice Department can send violators to prison, whereas the SEC can only place a fine on companies or ban them from business. "Now I discover that I didn't know what they were paid," Cramer said, "... and now I'm losing money because I wasn't cynical enough."
*General Dynamics (NYSE:GD): In spite of the fact that General Dynamics is falling, Cramer likes the fundamentals of this defense company, and points out that GD is going to make some "gigantic tank orders." He suggests buying more GD if it goes down.
*Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) and ADP (NASDAQ:ADP): Cramer cites these two as good examples of companies that do well in a high-interest rate environment like this one. ADP and PAYX take care of outsourced payrolls, and they receive a lot of money right before paychecks are processed. This money can be lent to the money market overnight.
*CB Richard Ellis Group (CBG): Cramer suggests avoiding real estate stocks, saying that "even commercial real estate has to be slowed," and any growth that has the potential to produce inflation will be nipped in the bud by the Federal Reserve.
*United States Steel (NYSE:X): Cramer describes steel as a problematic stock, because owners of steel want to see the economy go "full steam ahead," but if the economy slows down, steel prices will rise. He urged investors not to be aggressive with Steel until the economy cools.
*Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX): Cramer suggested making a defensive move and avoiding alternative-fuel holdings.
More: Cramer's latest stock picks, including: Mad Money Recap, Lightening Round, Stop Trading and his Radio Show.