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Cramer Explains What's Key to This Market

Tuesday, 29 Mar 2011 | 7:51 PM ET
Gaining Momentum?
Why is the market moving higher despite negative economic indicators such as slumping consumer confidence? Mad Money host Jim Cramer points to Chipotle stock as a litmus for the markets.

Cramer on Tuesday marveled at how the market continues to push higher despite a long list of negative economic news.

"For the first time in a long time we're witnessing true bull market behavior where buyers don't scare easily and are willing to massively overpay anything with growth," Cramer said. "There's a shortage of, well, fright."

Consider Chipotle Mexican Grill , which has seen shares soar. Investors continue to pay 39 times earnings for the stock, even though one would think it's dependent on consumer confidence, housing, net worth and lower gas prices. Yet the stock continues to go up. So long as Chipotle has earnings momentum, Cramer thinks growth-orientated hedge funds will continue buying shares. The second it loses that momentum, however, he expects the stock to fall sharply.

"Chipotle just won't go down, won't take a dive because that's what happens in a bona fide bull market," Cramer said. "In every bull market I've ever seen there have been anointed stocks, stocks that can do no wrong, stocks that make no sense to anyone but the people who buy them."

This rally is not about Chipotle, though. It's about the mechanics of the market. When it comes to fast food operators, Cramer would rather own McDonald's , but he respects the buying power. That's important because in this market, money mangers don't care about price-to-earnings multiples. They care about growth. Hedge funds care so much about growth that they are willing to pay up for it.

"Recognize the power not just of the growth story, but of the undeterred buyers who are about to get a whole new influx of cash to propel Chipotle and other momentum names ever higher," Cramer said. "That's the key to this market."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

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