The volatility trades are still in control of the market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday, but there is a chance the selling will subside sometime next week and if you know what to look for, you can be ready.
Cramer said that on Monday, he'll be closely watching the four volatility funds he highlighted Thursday: the ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures (UVXY) - Get Report , the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Fund (VXX) - Get Report , the Velocity Shares Daily 2X VIX Short-Term ETN (TVIX) - Get Report , and the ProShares Short VIX Short-Term Fund (SVXY) - Get Report .
If they're higher at the open, expect another bad day for the bulls. If they stabilize, then perhaps the stocks in the rest of the game plan are worth buying. That may not happen just yet though, because there could be as much as $1 trillion tied to what he calls these "idiotic" trading instruments.
Finally, on Friday, three more bullish stocks will be reporting, including Coca-Cola (KO) - Get Report , with its new CEO, Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Report and Deere & Company (DE) - Get Report . He will also hear from Newell Brands (NWL) - Get Report , which has seen a disastrous merger with Jarden and may cost the company's CEO his job.
Cramer and the AAP team raised cash right before the market downturn really began, and now they're ready to gingerly allocate those dollars into high-quality stocks that are trading at a discount. They're looking at Abbott Labs (ABT) - Get Report , Waste Management, Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Report , and more. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Hedge Funds Gone Wild
In the short-term, the hedge funds gone wild will remain in control of the stock market. Until these ill-advised volatility trades are unwound, the market will continue to see declines. But what then? Cramer said we still need to worry about interest rates.
Rising interest rates on the 10-Year Treasury bond were what started the volatility, Cramer reminded viewers, and any time rates rise, they make bonds more attractive when compared to stocks. Rising inflation also takes a bite out of stocks, as it erodes the future earnings investors are betting on.
It's not all doom and gloom, however. Cramer said inflation could be kept in check by falling oil and commodity prices.
Cramer said investors need to keep one eye on the VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term for the volatility trade and the other on the current price of 10-Year Treasuries. Only then will they truly understand where stock prices are headed.
When the Sale Is Too Good to Ignore
This wild market has created a lot of bargains, and while those bargains may get even cheaper, some are too cheap to ignore. Cramer took at look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average's top 10 biggest decliners to see which ones were worth starting positions in.
First up was General Electric (GE) - Get Report , which has a lot of work to do to turn itself around. Cramer said he was also on the fence with Chevron (CVX) - Get Report and Exxon-Mobil (XOM) - Get Report , as oil prices are declining. Caterpillar (CAT) - Get Report was a momentum stock, but now is in no man's land, making that stock a pass as well.
Cramer did like Intel (INTC) - Get Report , which made the top 10 decliners list. Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report remains his favorite chipmaker. He also gave the nod to 3M (MMM) - Get Report which has a lot of product momentum.
Over on Real Money, Cramer goes into detail on why he thinks some of these stocks look great right here. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: 3M
In an "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Inge Thulin, chairman, president and CEO of 3M, the industrial conglomerate with over 100 years of innovation.
Thulin explained that the keys to 3M's success are having a long-term playbook in place that revolves around innovation, portfolio management, and business transformation.
No one does innovation like 3M, he said. A full 30% of their products offered today didn't even exist five years ago. 3M uses its 8,100 scientists to bring forward customer-inspired innovations, which have a high rate of success, and also what Thulin called an "idea-to-innovation" process which fosters new ideas and new markets.
While many in the U.S. know 3M for Post-it Notes and Scotch Brand tape, Thulin said that in Asia, the best-known products involve air quality, where his company leads in respirators and air filtration systems.
Thulin added that 3M is not afraid to shed business units that aren't growing or don't meet the company's standards. They also aren't afraid to make acquisitions in areas where they know they can win.
Executive Decision: Proofpoint
For another "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Gary Steele, CEO of Proofpoint (PFPT) - Get Report , the cybersecurity company that earlier this week posted a nine-cents-a-share earnings beat with a 36% rise in revenues.
Steele said cyber attacks are still happening daily and attackers are increasingly targeting individuals rather than infrastructure. That's why their new automation systems can simulate attacks against a company's employees to see who's vulnerable and who requires more awareness training. Unlike previously, where attacks were simulated manually, taking a lot of time and resources, now the entire process can be automated.
The move to the cloud is also a big driver for growth at Proofpoint, Steele added, because once your business is in the cloud, your security needs to be there, too.
Steele continued by noting that the rise of cryptocurrencies is also creating new threats, with attackers not only asking for payments in Bitcoin, but also installing malware to use your computing power to help mine new coins on their behalf.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Mazor Robotics (MZOR) - Get Report , Lockheed Martin (LMT) - Get Report , Raytheon (RTN) - Get Report , Harris (HRS) , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Weyerhaeuser (WY) - Get Report and Mondelez International (MDLZ) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in ABT, WM, JWN, AAPL, PEP, GE, NVDA, RNT.