Game Plan: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Friday  7/17/20)

Jim Cramer says next week's a big one for news on earnings -- and vaccines.

Next week is a big week for earnings, but an even bigger week for vaccines, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday.

Cramer said the big news of the week will come on Monday when we learn the Phase I vaccine results from AstraZeneca  (AZN) - Get Report. The drug has already moved onto Phase III trials, Cramer said, which means the news from the initial trials should buoy the markets.

Cramer's game plan for next week also included earnings from IBM  (IBM) - Get Report on Monday. Cramer's hoping to see the aging tech giant winning some new business.

Tuesday's earnings include Lockheed Martin  (LMT) - Get Report, Coca-Cola  (KO) - Get Report, Texas Instruments  (TXN) - Get Report and Snap  (SNAP) - Get Report. Cramer was looking for good things from Lockheed, but suggested taking a pass on the rest, especially Snap, which has run going into the quarter.

Wednesday brings earnings from four companies Cramer liked, including Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Report, Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report, Chipotle Mexican Grill  (CMG) - Get Report and railroad CSX  (CSX) - Get Report.

The earnings continue on Thursday when we hear from more Cramer favorites, including Union Pacific  (UNP) - Get Report, Boston Beer  (SAM) - Get Report, Tractor Supply  (TSCO) - Get Report and Skyworks Solutions  (SWKS) - Get Report. Cramer was not a fan of AT&T  (T) - Get Report, Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report, American Airlines  (AAL) - Get Report or Intel  (INTC) - Get Report, all of which will also be reporting.

Finally on Friday, we close out the week with Honeywell  (HON) - Get Report, a company with strong innovation, Verizon  (VZ) - Get Report, a company with a terrific dividend, and American Express  (AXP) - Get Report, which Cramer would avoid.

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Medical Testing and Supply Stocks

Rather than rolling the dice on who comes up with a COVID-19 vaccine first, Cramer suggested a better way to invest in vaccines, and that's with the medical testing and supply stocks.

Ultimately, there will only be three or four big winners when it comes to the vaccine itself, Cramer cautioned. That means most of the more than 100 companies working on a vaccine will implode. The testing and supply companies, however, will continue to win no matter which company's vaccines help us beat this pandemic.

Cramer recommended Abbott Labs  (ABT) - Get Report as a strong testing supplier with a strong trajectory. Shares rose today by another 2.9% on the company's strong earnings. ThermoFisher Scientific  (TMO) - Get Report and Danaher  (DHR) - Get Report also made Cramer's list. Shares of ThermoFisher are up 40% since March and Cramer said he'd buy Danaher ahead of when they next report earnings. Finally, Cramer suggested Honeywell  (HON) - Get Report, maker of N95 masks, among many other personal protection and smart building systems that will be in demand for a long time to come.

Executive Decision: CyberArk

In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Udi Mokady, chairman and CEO of CyberArk  (CYBR) - Get Report to learn more about the types of cyber attacks that Twitter just experienced.

Mokady said the attack on Twitter was typical, where hackers received access to privileged administrative tools that in turn, gave them access to everything they needed for their attack. He said the breach could have been a lot worse than posting to a few accounts, but the attackers did have fun control of Twitter at the time.

Mokady added that while it's impossible to completely protect yourself from a rogue employee or someone accidentally clicking on a phishing attack, no employee should have full access to your platform without multiple layers of security. CyberArk advocates dual control systems and anomaly detection to help prevent attacks like what Twitter just experienced.

The cybersecurity world has gotten harder since COVID-19, Mokady said. Now that employees are dispersed and working from home, there is no perimeter to protect and the focus has shifted to identity protection and securing individual devices. He urged everyone to always use strong passwords and never give them out.

Executive Decision: Nutanix

For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Dheeraj Pandey, chairman and CEO of Nutanix  (NTNX) - Get Report, the cloud software provider with shares off 29% for the year.

Pandey said that when Nutanix began, the focus was on virtual desktop software, but now the industry has shifted to the cloud and that means a new generation of software is needed. That's why Nutanix is migrating to a subscription model with recurring revenues, following in the footsteps of companies like Adobe Systems  (ADBE) - Get Report. He said with a subscription business, customers sign up and Nutanix just streams innovation to them.

Nutanix is still a small company, Pandey noted, and is still only a third the size of companies like VMware  (VMW) - Get Report. He said most of their revenues are still from new customers that haven't even reached their renewals yet.

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Winners in the Housing Market

In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said Fed Chair Jay Powell isn't getting enough credit for helping to save our economy. Today we learned the Fed's low interest rates led to 17% growth in new housing starts and housing accounts for a lot more than just 10% of our economy. Low interest rates are bad if you're a bank, but for everyone else, it's a big win.

There are many companies that benefit from strong housing, Cramer said, from Masco  (MAS) - Get Report, to PPG  (PPG) - Get Report to Scotts Miracle Gro  (SMG) - Get Report to Stanley Black & Decker  (SWK) - Get Report. Then there's Deere & Co.  (DE) - Get Report and Waste Management  (WM) - Get Report just to name a few.

Cramer said retailers like Best Buy  (BBY) - Get Report, Home Depot  (HD) - Get Report and Lowes  (LOW) - Get Report are also winners in a housing boom, and all of them should be considered as we enter a period with a shortage of homes to be bought.

Lightning Round

Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Friday evening:

Innovative Industrial Properties  (IIPR) - Get Report: "I think that's an interesting stock with a good yield."

Teradyne  (TER) - Get Report: "I would own that one."

Big Lots  (BIG) - Get Report: "I haven't liked them historically, but there are activists in there now. You need to watch them closely. If the activists leave, you leave."

Jumia Technologies  (JMIA) - Get Report: "No, I'm gonna take a pass on Jumia."

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had no position in the stocks mentioned.