There's a new consensus emerging on Wall Street, Jim Cramer cautioned his Mad Money viewers Friday, one that fears a massive global trade war is brewing. Fortunately, Cramer said that line of thinking is too dire and not in line with the facts, which will only create buying opportunities going into next week's trading.
Cramer's game plan started out on Monday, keeping an eye on Allergan (AGN) - Get Report and McDonalds (MCD) - Get Report . Cramer admitted that Allergan has been a disappointment, down 33% over the past 12 months, but he remains a believer. So, too, with McDonalds, which continues its turnaround.
On Tuesday, BP (BP) - Get Report , Merck (MRK) - Get Report , Under Armour (UAA) - Get Report and Apple (AAPL) - Get Report will be reporting. Cramer was bullish on all of them, except Apple, where he said this Action Alerts PLUS holding could report a less-than-optimal quarter.
Wednesday brings earnings from Clorox (CLX) - Get Report , MasterCard (MA) - Get Report and Kraft Heinz (KHC) - Get Report . Cramer would buy Clorox into weakness and MasterCard ahead of when they report. Kraft Heinz is a tough one, however, as the company grows through acquisition and there's not a lot to buy right now.
Then, on Thursday, DowDuPont reports, and Cramer said he's conflicted with this company as well. The breakup will unlock value, but Dow also has exposure to China and is at risk for tariffs.
Finally, on Friday, the latest non-farm payroll numbers will be released and this number is taking on a lot of significance as of late. Investors should pay close attention. Then there's Newell Brands (NWL) - Get Report , a company which Cramer said is finally bottoming.
Cramer and the AAP team share their analysis of the core personal consumption expenditures price index. 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.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says the pathetic volume exacerbates everything as individual investors are in flee mode. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Keep Your Eyes on China
Forget interest rates. Cramer said his biggest worry in the stock market is the looming trade war with China. He said it's a mistake to think this issue is behind us, and no matter how it plays out, someone's going to get hurt.
Cramer reiterated that he thinks President Trump is justified in cracking down action against China. But the situation is messy, and that's precisely why no one's ever tried to take action before.
The problem is that there are two ways to hit Trump's $1 billion tariff number. First, he could target consumer goods, like toys, apparel and furniture. This would affect companies like Walmart (WMT) - Get Report and ultimately you, the consumer, as Walmart passes along those price increases. This could potentially also hit Walmart in China, where the company derives 10% of its sales.
But Trump could also target electronics, which would take aim directly at Apple. Apple is the bigger target, Cramer said, but both stocks will be under pressure until we have more clarity on whether the billion dollar target is for real, or simply a tough negotiating tactic.
Executive Decision: Briggs & Stratton
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Todd Teske, chairman, president and CEO of Briggs & Stratton (BGG) - Get Report , the small-engine maker that posted a penny-a-share earnings beat on Wednesday, but saw shares fall 11% on lighter-than-expected revenues and a cut in the company's full-year guidance.
Teske said the fundamentals at Briggs & Stratton remain strong and the problem this quarter was mostly with the company's guidance. There were a few one-time issues this quarter that made it prudent to guide earnings lower for the year, he said, and that's what investors were reacting to.
Some of those one-time issues were weather events, Teske explained, but the main issue was the Craftsman brand coming to Lowes (LOW) - Get Report later this year. As that brand moves in, others will be reshuffling, which has led suppliers to lean out their inventories until they figure things out. Briggs already powers a number of Craftsman products, Teske said, so the inventory issues will eventually work themselves out.
When asked about their cash strategy, Teske said that Briggs is always on the lookout for acquisitions, Both big and small, and the company remains committed to their dividend and share repurchase plan.
Executive Decision: Centene
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Michael Neidorff, chairman and CEO of Centene (CNC) - Get Report , the health insurance provider that recently posted a monster 29-cents-a-share earnings beat.
Neidorff said Centene's merger with Fidelis is still on track, but the deal has been delayed by a quarter as the regulators need more time to finalize it.
Neidorff added that Centene is still a growth company and they want to grow even more. They're already the largest Medicaid provider, but there's still more to do. He said that Centene is taking a leadership role in helping to bring down drug prices and he hopes that this year's midterm elections will help stabilize the healthcare industry overall.
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said don't let the bears fool you, the cloud computing cycle is still in its early innings and companies like Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report and Intel (INTC) - Get Report are in terrific positions.
Cramer said it feels like the 1990s all over again, with Intel and Microsoft ruling the day. These companies may have missed the transition from PCs to smart phones, but they're ready to play when it comes to the continued growth of the data center.
For proof of just how big the cloud can be, look no further than Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , which told investors they had a seven-year head start to get where they are and are also still in the early innings.
Join Jim Cramer on May 5 for TheStreet's Boot Camp for Investors
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AGN, AAPL, DWDP, RTN, MSFT, AMZN.