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Cramer: The Dow Level Crucial for Retail Investors

In an environment where media reports about Wall Street and the economy seem overwhelmingly negative, Jim Cramer said Monday, Dow 12,000 could be crucial to bringing retail investors back to the market.

The bellwether index hasn’t crossed that level since June 2008, but if it did, Cramer said, money may flow back into stocks from retail investors who were scared out by the crash. He thinks the rising share prices of household names like 3M , IBM and United Technologies could be enough to rebut the negative press about shrinking margins, inflation’s affect on the market or any other concern the media’s been harping on.

“Those companies go up when things are better,” Cramer said. “They don’t lie.”

In earnings news, the “Mad Money” host said Ford might be in for a bump after it reports numbers on Friday. So far this season he has seen a pattern where the stocks that pullback ahead of their quarter tend to pop after, as long as the numbers are good. Ford is down $1 so far, with little in the way of high expectations for the company. That, Cramer said, is the perfect combination for a higher share price.

Cramer thinks Micron Technology could be “the next NVIDIA,” as the company’s switch in focus to Flash memory from DRAM is exactly the right move in this age of Apple tablets and the like.

As a result, he said, “I think you could have a very big move here in MU.”

The run in Exxon Mobil is “over,” Cramer said. The stock’s push higher was warranted because it so lagged the rest of the oil group, but the company itself offers little exposure to the actual price of crude. Investors who think a barrel of black gold will reach $100 should consider companies like Occidental Petroleum or Chevron instead.

Lastly, Cramer praised McDonald’s management for addressing investors’ concerns during its earnings conference call. He said that when a company is cognizant of the issues it faces, and communicates that to the Street, confidence is rebuilt in the stock.

“I think you get a reset and people like it,” Cramer said of MCD.

When this story published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple.

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