Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: A Good Year After All

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's time to stop and smell the roses because for all of the doom and gloom that shrouded 2012, it turned out to be a pretty good year after all, Jim Cramer told "Mad Money" viewers Wednesday.

Cramer said that while the naysayers have already turned their sights on the next battle in Washington -- the debt ceiling -- normal investors should take a moment to pause and reflect on all that actually went right in 2012.

Just last week we were facing the possibility of higher taxes for all, fewer incentives for investing and an almost guaranteed recession. But today, all of those things are in our rear-view mirror, Cramer said. While no one is happy with the deal we ultimately got, it brings a certainty to the market that it desperately needed.

There were a lot of things that went right in 2012, Cramer reminded viewers. He said the housing stocks came back to life as did the financials, two key sectors for the American economy. Technology was also able to end the year on a high note. As today's acquisition of Zipcar (ZIP) proved, mergers and acquisitions also remain alive and well, all great things for 2013.

Cramer said there are always plenty of opportunities out there, which is why he's always taken heed of the skeptics but ignored the cynics. He said only those investors who can see through the Washington smokescreen will be able to see 2013's diamonds in the rough as they begin to appear.

Off the Charts

Where are the markets headed in 2013? Cramer went "Off The Charts" with analysis from colleague Bob Lang to find out. Lang took his cues from the PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) , which tracks the Nasdaq100 and the iShares Russell 2000 (IWM) , which tracks the small-cap stocks.

Using a monthly chart going back to 1999, Lang noted the Nasdaq is now within 50 points of its all-time high, in 1999. He said if the QQQ can break out above $70, there will be little resistance and smooth sailing thereafter. A weekly chart of the QQQ showed similar bullish trends, with a clear consolidating occurring during the end of the year, but the MACD momentum indicator still pointing into positive territory.

Lang was equally bullish on the Russell 2000's outlook. His analysis of the iShares daily chart noted a bullish cup-and-handle pattern, with the MACD indicator once again signaling that the move higher has only just begun. Also of interest, Lang noted the first quarter has historically been a bullish one for the small-cap index, with 2008 being the only exception in recent memory.