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"It's the economy, dummy!" That's not exactly what Bill Clinton said back in 1992 but it would seem to capture the mood on Wall Street today. By the end of Tuesday's session stocks closed lower for a third straight day with consumer staples leading the S&P 500 below its 14-day moving average for a second straight day.
More than two-thirds of the issues traded on the NYSE closed in negative territory, as investors grew more concerned about the pace of economic growth. Concerns were amplified by new data from Europe which showed a slump in French business activity and slower growth in German manufacturing activity.
Given developments, Jim Cramer said it only makes sense to revisit investments and determine if your reasons for owning your stocks remain intact. Considering the broad headwinds, is it time to change your strategy?
If you're looking for opportunity immediately, Cramer said, in this market, he'd only pull the trigger on stocks with clear catalysts.
"So what fits? How about Allergan (AGN) and Apple (AAPL), " Cramer said. Allergan has strong earnings and two bidders while demand for Apple's latest iPhone is so strong Cramer thinks "all the carriers will feel the heat to make deals with Apple, favorable deals that will help Apple's bottom line."
Again, if you're looking to put money to work, Cramer suggests looking at both Apple and Allergan. Given the catalysts, "Both stocks just make too much sense not to buy," he said.
Also, Cramer turned his attention to natural gas and whether the commodity could rally into year end. Although fundamentals would suggest that, ahead of the winter demand, the path of least resistance should be higher, natural gas has been difficult to predict, in part due to the abundance of reserves discovered in North America. Therefore, for additional insights, Cramer turned to analysis from Carly Garner, a pro Cramer described as "a brilliant technician."
Elsewhere in the market, Cramer looked at Western Union (WU) as well as other money transfer stocks. "In the business world, there is absolutely nothing worse than competition. Right now the money transfer space is rife with all kinds of new competitors." Consumers may win but Cramer fears shareholders stand to lose.
In the Lightning Round Cramer said, he had hoped Dean Foods (DF) was near a bottom but due to the increase in the price of milk, he isn't so sure. Also he said he'd reserve judgment on Lithia Motors (LAD) after recent earnings from CarMax (KMX).
Turning attention to energy, "You know I'm a big believer in the North American oil and gas renaissance, but given the precipitous decline in crude lately and the low price of natural gas, I can understand why many of you might feel nervous about owning the stocks of actual oil and gas producers," Cramer said.
But, the "Mad Money" host added, investors who establish a position in Markwest (MWE) can play the domestic energy revolution without taking on much commodity exposure. "This is the great growth pipeline in this country, " he said.
"While the stock has generated a 25 percent return in about four months, I bet it can go higher still, especially if interest rates stay low so that bonds stay uncompetitive as an alternative for income-seeking investors.