Safety Stocks

A 600-point swing in the Dow Wednesday is just proof investors need stocks they can trust, Cramer said.

He’s confident the market’s seen a bottom, but there’s still plenty of risk Homegamers should avoid. The best way to do that, he said, is to look for companies that have already proved themselves by reporting strong numbers.

IBM beat expectations last week. The tech bellwether reported earnings per share of $2.80, 12 cents above the Street estimate of $2.68. The stock fell from its post-earnings price of $106, but returned to that level Wednesday, making Cramer think IBM has regained its footing.

On the conference call, management offered five reasons why IBM was a great company, and Cramer agreed with all of them: The services division is going strong; so is business overseas; there’s flawless execution in the operating model; smart acquisitions are growing the company; and IBM has a ton of extra cash.

If there’s an impending worldwide slowdown, IBM doesn’t see it, Cramer said. And even if it does happen, IBM should outperform because that global recession was priced into the stock this week.

DuPont was another earnings winner, beating estimates by 8 cents when the company reported yesterday. DD also reaffirmed its 2008 guidance. Big overseas growth, productivity gains, a strong agriculture business and a stellar CEO in Chad Holliday make DuPont a stock to own, Cramer said. The 3.8% yield and a history of great buybacks, “you can buy this one with confidence” -- though he recommends waiting for a pullback before you do.

"We need stocks we can rely on in a crazy rollercoaster market," Cramer said, "and I believe we need to pull the trigger on IBM and DuPont."

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