Friday's positive employment figures trumped negative tariffs, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers. That trend could continue into next week, but only if companies can deliver on earnings.
Cramer said his game plan starts on Monday with the latest Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index data out of China. He said these numbers have become increasingly important, as China's economy may not be as strong as the Chinese lead us to believe.
Next, on Tuesday, Cramer said he'll be watching two Action Alerts PLUS names, PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report and Nordstrom (JWN) - Get Report . He was concerned that PepsiCo could deliver weak numbers, but remains optimistic. He was far less optimistic about Nordstrom's investor day however, as the retailer continues to struggle.
On Wednesday, General Mills (GIS) - Get Report will be hosting an investor day, an event Cramer said will be the first test of the recent strength in the defensive stocks. We'll also get the latest U.S. Producer Price Index data which, also with the Producer Price Index on Thursday, will let us know how aggressively the Federal Reserve will need to raise interest rates.
Friday will be all about the financials, with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report , Citigroup (C) - Get Report , Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report and PNC Financial (PNC) - Get Report all reporting. Can the banks make money with a flattening yield curve? Cramer said it's getting harder, but the blow should be cushioned with dividends and buybacks.
Cramer and the AAP team are making a few more updates to their bullpen, adding Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report , Clorox (CLX) - Get Report , and Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report . 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.
Is GE Back On?
Is it finally time to invest in General Electric (GE) - Get Report , the beleaguered industrial that's fallen 60% from its 2016 highs and was just recently booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average?
Cramer said, at least, it's finally time to give his opinion.
To be clear, Cramer said former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt left the company in a terrible state. Not only were its financials completely opaque, both management and the company's board of directors should have seen the problems clear as day.
In addition to the problems at the company's long-term care division, where GE failed to accurately calculate costs and life expectancies, the company also made a number of bad calls, like selling NBC Universal and Synchronicity near the bottom, while snapping up oil assets near the highs. Even with the dividend cut in half, many investors fear more cuts are coming.
But Cramer said new CEO John Flannery has a plan, and it's a good one. GE said it will spin off its healthcare division as well as sell its interest in Baker Hughes. The remaining company will be a pure-play on aviation, power and renewable energy -- all areas with synergies that make sense. Cramer said Flannery's goals seem achievable and Flannery himself seems like the right man for the job.
Cramer said he's a believer, and while shares may not immediately bottom and head higher, the risk/reward finally seems right and that makes the stock -- for the first time in two years -- attractive.
ConAgra's Deal for Pinnacle
Last week, ConAgra Foods (CAF) - Get Report announced that it will be buying Pinnacle Foods (PF) for $10.9 billion, a deal that Cramer said is about as logical and as positive as a deal can be. The market however, hated the news, sending ConAgra shares down a quick 7%.
Cramer said the decline in ConAgra shares was simply "insane" as the company has a solid track record of acquiring and integrating smaller brands. The deal will make it the number two player in the freezer aisle and give the company new brands that appeal to younger consumers.
While investors scoffed that ConAgra will be borrowing $7.3 billion to make the deal happen, Cramer instead focused on the synergies the combined company will have, along with its growth. He said trading at just 15 times earnings, ConAgra shares are a steal.
The Outlook for Oil
With oil prices continuing to rise and seemingly no oil-producing nation stepping up to find more oil, Cramer said it's time to start investing in oil producers and oil service companies like Schlumberger (SLB) - Get Report .
Cramer said while Saudi Arabia could potentially pump another one million barrels a day over the short term to help stabilize prices, the fact is that the world will need more oil and no one is stepping up to find it. Venezuela is a failed state, Iran is embargoed and Libya won't be helping any time soon. Meanwhile, the U.S. can't build pipelines fast enough to get its reserves to market and deep water drilling has all but ceased on a global scale.
That's why it's time to buy the oil producers, Cramer said, along with the oil service stocks. By the end of his year the world will have to wake up and start looking for more oil, he said, and investors need to be ready.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says it's not too late to buy oil companies that are spending to find more petroleum. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Cramer Does His Homework
In his "Homework" segment, Cramer followed up on a few stocks that had him stumped during earlier shows. He said that Installed Building Products (IBP) - Get Report is tied to housing, and the market wants nothing to do with it, despite earnings growing like a weed. It will take a long time for money managers to warm up to it.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Cara Therapeutics (CARA) - Get Report , Baidu.com (BIDU) - Get Report , Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report , Merck (MRK) - Get Report , IBM (IBM) - Get Report , FactSet Research Systems (FDS) - Get Report and HP (HPQ) - Get Report .
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in PEP, SLB, JWN, JPM, C, GE.