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5 Investing Themes Driving Stocks Right Now

Thursday, 22 Apr 2010 | 8:09 PM ET

What looked like a calm day on the surface was actually “one of the wildest days we’ve had in ages,” Cramer said Thursday. The Dow’s mere nine-point gain and the incremental increase on the S&P 500 masked an intraday 112-point swing. This lent alert investors the chance to capture some tremendous moves before the closing bell.

If you missed that chance, though, Cramer said not to worry. He fully expects another bear-driven sell-off soon enough, whether it’s because President Obama bashed Wall Street again or Europe’s debt problems still weigh on the markets. You just need a shopping list prepared so you can take advantage of the dip. To get you started, Cramer found the five biggest themes driving stocks right now.

First, explosive growth. Apple is Cramer’s favorite here. The stock sold off today after Verizon made no mention on its conference call of possibly selling the iPhone. But it rebounded later when news leaked that Verizon said it was ready when Apple was. That sent Apple soaring 10 points from its midday low. This is definitely a name you want the next time the market pulls back, Cramer said, especially considering Verizon’s wireless customer base: 92.8 million people. (Also in the growth category, Cramer recommended both Chipotle and Netflix. Watch the video for his full report on them.)

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The second theme, aerospace, is driven largely by Boeing , which just reported a better-than-expected quarter. Cramer thinks we’re at the beginning of what should be a seven-year up cycle for the industry, and he this is the quarter when Boeing and others like United Technologies should break out. BA is up huge, but the buying continues unabated, probably because the market knows it’s breakout time, too. Cramer also likes Spirit AeroSystems, Goodrich and BE Aerospace in this group.

Theme number three is banking revenue growth. That’s just what we got from Citigroup , which grew overall revenues by $7.5 billion, or 42%, over the previous quarter thanks to a securities and banking division that doubled its business. And revenue growth from overseas – something virtually no other American banks have right now – was significant as well. On the domestic side, PNC Financial and Huntington Bancshares saw a nice bump in their revenues, and their stocks responded accordingly. Cramer said he wouldn’t recommend chasing HBAN up here, but Citi at $4.87 is very attractive.

Theme four: housing. With existing-home sales rising to 5.35 million in March and the total supply of homes declining to an eight-month supply from eight and a half months, Cramer’s confident this sector is coming back. One of his top plays on housing is Standard Pacific , a left-for-dead homebuilder with 56% of its backlog in California. The company is buying land again, which is important because it means SPF assumes it can sell the homes it will build on that land. Plus, Standard Pacific on its most recent conference call mentioned that certain Cali markets have seen price increases. Also, Cramer said the company is selling out entire phases of some of its developments on opening weekend. But Standard Pacific isn’t the only way to trade this theme. He also endorsed related plays like Masco, Fortune Brands, Pier 1, Williams-Sonoma, Sherwin Williams, Leggett & Platt, Home Depot, Sears, Whirlpool and Stanley Black & Decker.

Lastly, there are the hotels. Yes, the hotels, with Marriott beating the Street’s earnings estimates today and saying the recovery is happening faster than expected. Cramer expects similar good news from Starwood when it reports next week. He’s also a big fan of Wynn, which rebounded 7% from its intraday low on Thursday.

“The next time we get a pullback like the one we had earlier today,” Cramer said, “I want you to remember this shopping list of big themes so you can buy on weakness.”

Cramer’s charitable trust owns Apple and Stanley Black & Decker.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the Mad Money website? madcap@cnbc.com

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