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NEW YORK (
) -- The fiscal cliff continues to loom and Jim Cramer told
viewers Friday he continues to believe there'll be no deal.
That said, he'll spend Sunday morning watching the talk shows, waiting for a politician to say something encouraging.
He'd love to hear a Republican says the words "tax increase" without the word "no" in front. And he'd love to hear a Democrat says the words "spending cuts" without the word "no" in front.
Still, "We've got to gird ourselves for the cliff," Cramer said.
And that means next week's game plan includes paying attention to the coming week's earnings and data.
On Monday, we get the Empire State Manufacturing Survey before the bell, and this, along with
earnings, will set the tone for the market all day.
Cramer expects GE to be upbeat, especially after increasing its dividend to 12%. "It's going to be a good story," he said.
There's been a lot of speculation that
could report a better than expected quarter on Tuesday. "The quarter has to be 'lights-out' or we'll see a beat-down," Cramer said.
reports Wednesday. "It's a consistent gainer that delivers good returns over time and a nice dividend," Cramer says of the stock. "It's worth owning because it doesn't get hammered."
reports after the bell. "I think this could be one of the best consulting companies out there," Cramer said. "If I had to buy one stock for a trade next week I'd buy this on Tuesday ahead of the report."
Cramer is worried about
Bed, Bath and Beyond
, which also reports Wednesday. "The stock acts so horribly even on good days," he said. "We might ask how much lower can it get." The problem at BBBY is that it is cheap yet it has a great balance sheet.
"I think Washington is destroying confidence and I expect
to confirm this as well," Cramer said of the company reporting Wednesday after the bell.
"I think we're going to hear good news from
," Cramer said. Carmax reports Thursday. He sees the recovery in new car sales now filtering down to the used car supplier.
Also Thursday is
. "The bar has been set very low for Darden," Cramer said. "Maybe it's time to think about a new transition management team if they fail to get it together."
Discover Financial Services
may have room to run. "Buy on fiscal cliff weakness," Cramer said, adding that he's tempted to buy it for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS.
Inventory concerns in China continue to weaken
, Cramer said. Look for an update when the company reports Thursday after the bell.
On Friday is
. How will the drug-store chain take on thecompetition? Cramer expects the company to start showing better numbers now that it put its tiff with
"I think we should get used to the idea of the fiscal cliff and be prepared," Cramer said. "We've got a series of good companies reporting next week. If you really like them, understand you can buy some of them, but the fiscal cliff looms on even the best."
Battle of the 3-Ds
Cramer said he's been hearing from viewers about 3-D printers, which are showing up in a lot of places. He said these printers are "not a flash in the pan" but are here to stay. But which company stock to buy?
Cramer said the choice really comes down to two companies:
, and he put them head to head.
Both are fine companies, he said, and both will do well. But Stratesys is cheaper and also has the advantage of a recent acquisition of another 3-D printer maker,
. Objet's business complements Stratesys's while giving it access to 260 resellers and selling agents around the world.
3-D printers are not cheap -- they run from $19,000 to $600,000 -- and neither is Stratesys stock, although it is a bargain compared with the higher-priced 3D Systems. Cramer said 3D is "no slouch either" but it doesn't have any mergers on the horizon.
However, he told investors, if you are going to invest in Stratesys, wait for a fiscal cliff-inspired pullback before you pull the trigger.
is one of the most talked-about stocks. One reason is the sickening decline of its stock price from $700 to $500.
It's an embarrassment of riches. It makes too much sense not to sell and lock in gains, especially ahead of the rise in capital gains tax rates expected next year.
"Today's news about Apple makes me wonder if its inventory is beginning to back up," Cramer said.
He said his charitable trust "did some selling -- about 90 points ago" in Apple shares because the stock had gone up so much we'd become the Apple fund, he explained. "We took some profits."
Cramer confessed to being very worried about the company's lack of a new OMG (Oh, My God) product and that could damage long-term prospects.
The trust is holding on to the rest of its stock because Apple is a good investment that's inexpensive, even after an analyst cut the target price.
has a lot going for it but as ad margins continue to decline, "I think the stock could sag."
Research in Motion
( RIMM) is more a sell than a hold, Cramer said. "Take some off the table."
"I think most of RIMM's future depends on the reception to its new device, and that worries me," Cramer said.
"I would steer clear of
," Cramer said. "I expect they'll need to raise cash following the deal with
will go big, he predicted.
"While I think
could go higher from here, I expect Bed, Bath and Beyond's fundamentals to decline.
"The battleground plays may top the headlines but I think you're better off with something more boring," Cramer said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on
Chenier Energy Partners
He was bearish on
Chenier Energy Inc.
Fortress Investment Group
Is fear of the fiscal cliff taking the pleasure out of investing? If so, Cramer has an answer -- a bit of speculation. Not too much, he stressed. Nothing wrong with one stock in 10 being a riskier play.
So for "Speculation Friday" Cramer suggested
Never heard of it? Cramer said that's no surprise since it is a company that does one thing and does it well -- own and protect its intellectual property.
The IP held by the firm, spun out from defense company
, helps create secure communications over the Internet, which is very important, Cramer said. Right now the company has 20 U.S. and 26 international patents with over 100 more pending.
And they're protected. VirnetX has already sued
and Apple and will be in court against
next March for alleged patent infringement in their technology.
It is also suing Apple a second time, for patents infringed in making its iPhone5. If VirnetX wins, it could win royalty payments from Apple. That's a big deal, Cramer said.
But, as with all spec plays, there are risks. In this case the big risk comes if the company loses its patent lawsuits. "If it loses those cases, the stock could be crushed," Cramer warned.
So you have to protect yourself. He suggested using "deep in the money call options" that "give you bang for the buck" on the upside and less risk on the downside, ideally June 26, 2013, $12 call options.
No Huddle Offense
Does anyone in Washington know how to start a small business?
Cramer said he doubts it. Small business needs traffic and that means customers. "Who in Washington is worried about customers?" he wondered. "It's not even part of the conversation."
Small business is worried about keeping customers, who are their lifeblood, Cramer noted.
Without a deal the U.S. won't be able to pay its bills, and if that happens it will lead to the type of austerity being seen in Europe and thus a lower standard of living. And that's a big hit on small business.
The U.S. can't afford its current high level of entitlements, which is why long-term spending cuts are so important, Cramer said.
But both sides don't seem to see that, or a way to find a compromise. Cramer said they need a dose of reality.
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-- Written by Anthony Buccino and Margo D. Beller in New York.
At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, GE.
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