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Cramer: What Gold, Housing Shortages Mean

Jim Cramer
Jim Cramer

Declines in the stock market Thursday haven’t changed the fundamentals, especially when factoring in shortages in homes and gold, “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer said on CNBC.

Rallies in the Philadelphia Housing Index and gold are real tells of what’s going on, he said.

“Lately we’ve seen some pronounced positives in the housing arena, including numbers today showing a 1.82 percent jump in U.S. home values, the biggest gain since 2005, when the housing boom was raging,” he said.

“Plus, yesterday Toll Brothers said that almost every single area in this country was strong, something confirmed today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s figures. Incredibly, the federal survey showed that the biggest gainers were in hard hit areas like Arizona and Nevada. Nevada? That’s been ground zero for no recovery.” (Read More: Builder Stocks With Big Potential: Pro)

Cramer said that Zillow’s estimation of 400,000 homes newly in the black was especially significant.

“That’s huge,” he said. “It can break the cycle of so-called shadow inventory, and it means these newly above-water homeowners will now be willing to spend some money to make their houses more attractive. I think that’s behind the remarkable surge in retail spending for everything from paint — think of the red-hot Sherwin Williams — to furniture, think Williams-Sonoma with that amazing quarter yesterday and Weyerhaeuser at a new 52-week high because why not buy some lumber to make that super addition? At last it could be worth it.”

If housing continues to recover, Cramer added, it bodes well for the broader economy.

How about gold?

“We have a major rally going on in the precious metal right now, and many people don’t understand the importance of that rally,” he said. “If they did, they’d be more inclined to buy the stock market rather than sell it.”

Cramer added that gold is what investors buy when they think their currency is about to be debased, something that can be a positive force for the global economy.

“At the moment I think there’s tremendous gold buying coming from all over the world precisely because of the race to debase currencies,” he said.

While debasing should raise concerns, this time around Cramer saw something else.

“Gold’s rally is telling me that the European Central Bank will ultimately end up printing a lot of euros to bail out the sick countries over there, and that’s positive, not negative,” he said. “Why do I read that as positive? Because, again, I take my cue from the market. The FXE, the ETF that measures the strength of the euro versus the dollar, which I monitor like a hawk, has been moving up with alacrity. That tells me the Germans recognize that if they’re going to save the euro, they have to stop fighting the Spaniards and instead embrace them by giving that country money and giving its banks a bailout.”

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