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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors need to expect the worst but prepare for the best, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Friday from a safe place hiding under his desk. He said the markets panicked as expected today, but savvy investors should've been prepared for a selloff of this nature because they're a vital part of any long-term rally.
Cramer said he is taking problems in China and emerging-market slowdowns seriously, but also said the U.S. is in far better shape than when similar woes emerged in Europe a few years ago -- which means when the selling's over, it'll be a great time to buy.
That's why Cramer's game plan includes listening to Caterpillar (CAT) and Apple (AAPL), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, on Monday. Cramer said these companies will provide a reading on the global economy and the temperament of the markets.On Tuesday, Cramer said, he'll be watching American Airlines (AAL), along with Ford (F) and DuPont (DD). American is just a buy, he said, but Ford's Latin American business may be at risk and he's curious to see if the new DuPont is less immune to the economic cycle. Wednesday brings earnings from Biogen Idec (BIIB) and WellPoint (WLP), two stocks the market usually turns to when things head south. Then, on Thursday, it's 3M (MMM), Under Armour (UA) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL) in the spotlight. Cramer said these three unconventional tech stocks should all do well as the market becomes less emotional by this point next week. Finally, on Friday, it's Abbvie (ABBV), Weyerhaeuser (WY) and MasterCard (MA) reporting. Cramer said by Friday the markets will likely be oversold, making these stocks a bargain.