Jim Cramer: Continental Airlines, MasterCard, Halliburton

Continental Airlines Inc., the fourth-largest U.S. carrier, and MasterCard Inc., the credit card company, may rise after CNBC host Jim Cramer recommended the stocks on his ``Mad Money'' television program.

Continental is expected to benefit amid moves by President George W. Bush's administration to end restrictions on foreign investors owning U.S. domestic carriers. Last week, the U.S. House voted for a second time to block such a rule.

The government plans to take comments for another month on the rule aimed at giving foreigners more say in airline decisions, such as adding routes and buying airplanes. U.S. Transportation Department officials must complete the rule before the U.S. and European Union can finish an ``open skies'' treaty this year that would expand flights between the markets.

``I just despise airlines, but ``open skies'' could make every single one a takeover target,'' said Cramer, a market commentator and former hedge-fund manager. He noted that prospective investors in U.S. carriers could include Air France-KLM Group, Europe's largest airline.

``If you invest in an airline, you will lose money, but I do think it's a terrific trade,'' Cramer said. There was a ``crummy market again today, and (Continental) was up. That's always a sign of a strong stock.''

Shares of Continental rose 40 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $27.30 after-hours in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. It closed at $26.90 in regular trading.


MasterCard Inc., which went public last month, also was recommended by Cramer because he likes the company's move to introduce new product lines and its global marketing plans.

Shares of MasterCard climbed 36 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $44.70 in after-hours trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Another stock, which lost 50 percent of its value after going public in May, is Vonage Holdings Corp., which Cramer told viewers to avoid.

He also urged viewers not to invest in Urban Outfitters Inc., a stock he previously recommended, because the retailer is focused on expanding when it faces large inventories and sales trends at its Anthropologie chain are ``weak.''

During the ``Lightning Round'' of responding to viewers' questions, Cramer recommended Smith Micro Software Inc., Nabors Industries Inc., Hercules Offshore Inc., Halliburton Co., Nokia Oyj, Schlumberger Ltd., Allegheny Technologies Inc., Brazil's Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, Consol Energy Inc., Consolidated Edison Inc., TXU Corp., Grey Wolf Inc. and Walt Disney Co.

He told viewers to avoid XTO Energy Inc. and Titanium Metals Corp.

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