The U.S. stock market pushed higher on Friday, capping off a big week of earnings in the market. It also came after an "incredibly positive" GDP report, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers.
So what's next? Cramer said if you thought there were a lot of earnings this week, wait until next week, and he turned his attention to his game plan.
On Monday, investors will get the opening weekend ticket sales for Disney's (DIS - Get Report) latest film, Avengers: Endgame. Short of the numbers being a blowout, Disney stock may be in for some profit-taking, Cramer reasoned. We'll also get earnings from Alphabet (GOOGL - Get Report) . He wants to see how Alphabet starts to monetize its content and whether its cloud business can rival that of Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) .
Tuesday's a big earnings day, with Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD - Get Report) both reporting. There's a lot of late buyers in Apple now, so pay more attention to the report than to the price action, he said. Regarding AMD, is Intel's (INTC - Get Report) recent pain - falling 9% on Friday - AMD's gain? We'll find out.
Turning to Wednesday, CVS Health (CVS - Get Report) will report its quarterly numbers and Cramer wants to see if the Aetna merger can help reverse CVS off its 52-week lows. Estee Lauder (EL - Get Report) will also report, and Cramer expects the company to put on a clinic.
Finally, on Friday, we'll get the non-farm payrolls report for the month of April. Cramer highlighted this as the week's most important data point and said he expects a strong result. A good jobs number will likely bring out a chorus of investors chanting for higher interest rates from the Fed. Tune them out, he cautioned.
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Executive Decision: Columbia Sportswear
Consumers don't need more brands to choose from, so Columbia Sportswear, which makes products like Columbia, Market Hardwear, PrAna and Sorel, needs to be authentic and unique, Boyle told Cramer. This came after the company's top- and bottom-line earnings beat and the company raised guidance on Thursday evening.
One area of strength came from Sorel. When Cramer inquired as to why it was doing so well, Boyle told him that the team has done an amazing job at making it a year-round brand. The long and cold winter helped, but the spring lineup has done really well, he noted.
Another area of strength came from the company's performance fishing gear unit (PFG). Columbia's competitors weren't focusing on this area and Boyle said his management team knew they could take advantage of this segment with great products. The company is also leveraging social media, not just for its PFG line, but the business as a whole.
Social media, digital marketing and e-commerce is a great development, Boyle said, because it allows them to track sale conversion so accurately. The data is right there, he reasoned, allowing them to be more efficient with their marketing spend.
To succeed in this business, companies need to be authentic and have a fortress balance sheet, because you never know what will happen. "We've got the balance sheet and we've got the products to keep ourselves in great position," he concluded.
Despite the strong quarter, shares fell 3% on Friday. Cramer pointed out that margins climbed in the quarter and that even though guidance was raised, he suspect management is simply being conservative.
Focusing on Ford
Many investors believe the industry is facing a cyclical decline, meaning a temporary downturn in sales that will bounce back. Cramer counters by saying he believes there is a cyclical decline occurring right now, as well as a secular, long-term decline that's also underway.
Essentially, car ownership is becoming less and less attractive, particularly for young drivers. One big driving force for this trend is ride-sharing, highlighted by Lyft's (LYFT) recent IPO and Uber's upcoming IPO.
By the time one takes into consideration all of the costs of car ownership -- gas, insurance, maintenance, parking -- it's simply cheaper for some to use Uber and Lyft than owning their own vehicle. Plus, the industry has been saddled with unprofitable vehicle segments for years.
That's one reason why Ford got ahead of the curve, all but eliminating its sedan lineup and instead focusing on the more profitable SUVs and the very profitable F-Series.
But Ford is the exception, as is Honeywell (HON - Get Report) . The latter used to have a g ood automotive segment, but reduced its exposure last fall. Both stocks are now being rewarded by investors. Others, like 3M Co. (MMM - Get Report) and Illinois Tool Works (ITW - Get Report) , haven't done the same and they're now paying the price. So are technology companies that are leveraged to the auto industry.
Throw in the fact that many of these automakers are investing heavily in electric and autonomous technologies and the margins get even smaller, he noted.
On Real Money, Cramer says we are in the twilight of car ownership. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Cypress Semiconductor
The company saw its stock rise more than 7% on Friday after it beat on earnings and revenue expectations. The move comes despite Intel's 9% decline after disappointing earnings results. Cramer called it a "spectacular" quarter and specifically wanted to know more about the company's 20% growth in its Internet of Things (IoT) business.
El-Khoury said it's the result of a multi-year diversification plan. The company wanted to get many different customers and opportunities in different industries and businesses. You have to be everywhere all the time to succeed in IoT, he said.
However, this fits in with the company's larger core strategy, which is differentiation and proprietary technology. It got out of the commoditized technology business and is instead focusing on unique, proprietary solutions. This adds value to its products and helps drive strong quarters like the one investors just saw. It also helps with margins, as we saw in this quarter.
For instance, Cypress is one of the few companies doing well in automotive, an industry Cramer just pointed out weakness in. Cypress has diversified in this segment and is focused on the cockpit of the car, El-Khoury explained. Customers want a premium experience and Cypress Semi helps deliver on that front.
Executive Decision: MarketAxess
Earlier this week, MarketAxxess missed on revenue expectations, but beat on earnings estimates. Cramer pointed out that while Tradeweb Markets (TW) has done really well lately, he believes the stock has gotten too expensive when compared to a company like MarketAxxess, which has been public for longer and has done really well over the past few years.
The company is helping to bring more democracy and transparency to the credit market, McVey explained. By leveraging electronic trading, data and artificial intelligence, MarketAxxess is able to increase efficiencies and lower transaction costs.
This is bringing new entrants to the credit market and making transactions easier than before. That's adding liquidity to markets that historically have lacked it. The company is also expanding internationally and is seeing plenty of traction in Europe.
How does this help the individual investor?
"ETFs are clearly a very efficient way for individual investors to participate in the global bond market," he explained. The other way is through mutual funds. But by working with these ETF and mutual fund managers to reduce costs and expenses, it improves the returns for individual investors who own these funds, McVey said.
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