A Tale of Two Stocks

Do you want slow and steady or fast and furious?

Cramer won’t say whether one is better than the other. And he’s right. It just depends on which investing strategy you prefer. Some people like risk because they know there’s the potential for bigger returns. Other people like to sleep soundly at night.

Consider General Mills and Joy Global. Both stocks work right now, but for different reason. GIS is your classic recession play. It regularly either meets or beats its quarterly earnings estimates and delivers consistent single-digit growth. Joy Global, on the other hand, is a mining-equipment maker and infrastructure play that lives and dies with the market. When the global economy is booming, so is JOYG. But when recessions hit, this company feels it first.

Both companies, though, lead their respective industries. General Mills and JOYG each offer a 2.8% dividend yield, and they’re known for buying back large amounts of stock to keep the share price up. So don’t think that Joy Global is a lesser name. It’s just a matter of how you want to invest.

People thinking longer term should buy General Mills. The crash in grain and oil prices as well as packaging costs mean wider margins for the company, which is just what food-stock investors want. Plus, future earnings look strong, and the weak dollar will boost sales overseas.

For short-term traders, Joy Global’s the buy. With a turn in the economy expected, traders have the chance to make some good money on this stock. Hedge-fund selling hammered down the share price, offering the chance to get in JOYG at the bottom and ride it up. Granted, the company’s most recent quarter was horrible. But it wasn’t nearly as bad as Wall Street thought, so the stock’s up anyway. Even after a near 13% jump in price, Cramer said JOYG is still a buy. With the Obama stimulus package and Ben Bernanke’s willingness to do anything necessary to save the economy, this stock should generate some good returns.

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