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Yes, oil prices are once again in control of the stock market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. But the good news is that if oil prices fall just a little lower, the rumors of Saudi production cuts will kick in and both crude and stocks will rally once again.
Fortunately, Cramer had his sights set on things other than oil for next week's game plan.
On Monday, Cramer said he'll be listening to the GoPro (GPRO) - Get Report analyst day as he thinks the company's next generation of products could yield a one-down, two-up risk reward situation for the stock. Also on Monday is Ascena Retail (ASNA) - Get Report , which remains a not-so-great story.
Tuesday brings earnings from home builders Lennar (LEN) - Get Report and KB Homes (KBH) - Get Report , but Cramer felt Lennar was dangerous at its lofty level, while KB Homes is not as well run. FedEx (FDX) - Get Report will also have Cramer's ear for a read on the economy but only Adobe Systems (ADBE) - Get Report will be on his buy list after it reports.
Next, on Wednesday, it's Federal Reserve day, and Cramer expects the Fed to stay the course on interest rates. Carmax (KMX) - Get Report , General Mills (GIS) - Get Report and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) - Get Report will report on Wednesday but Cramer is unimpressed. He is only excited about Red Hat (RHT) - Get Report because the market still loves the cloud.
For Thursday, both Auto Zone (AZO) - Get Report and Rite-Aid (RAD) - Get Report will be reporting. Cramer recommends buying Auto Zone on any weakness but said Rite-Aid remains in the hands of regulators as it attempts to merge with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) - Get Report , an Action Alerts PLUS holding.
Investors should always be on the prowl for stocks that can do well even in a rising interest rate environment. Fortunately Cramer had just the stock with Diageo (DEO) - Get Report , the wine and spirits maker with such brands as Johnny Walker, Captain Morgan and dozens of others.
Cramer said Diageo represents real value for three reasons. First, the company is not only a liquor maker, it's a liquor maker based in Britain. With the fall of the British pound post-Brexit, all of the company's products just got cheaper and all of its profits just got a huge currency translation boost.
The second reason is China, which is beginning to ease up on its 2014 anti-vice crackdown. We're already seeing gambling make a recovery in China and Cramer thinks drinking shouldn't be far behind.
Third, Diageo could be a takeover target in an industry that's already in consolidation mode. Add to that Diageo's 2.8% dividend yield and its cheap valuation at 20 times earnings and Cramer said this stock, with its stable of quality brands, is a buy, buy, buy.
Starbucks, Panera Stand Out
It's been a tough environment for the restaurant stocks, Cramer told viewers, but Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report and Panera Bread (PNRA) , two Action Alerts PLUS holdings, remain standouts among the group.
Cramer said Panera's recent weakness came on the heels of weak numbers from Cracker Barrel (CBRL) - Get Report , which saw a 3.2% increase in same store sales, but forecast just 1% to 2% going forward. But when Panera last reported, the company saw 4.2% same store sales and reiterated guidance for 4% to 5% next year. Given that Panera is a largely healthy place to eat, while Cracker Barrel isn't, Cramer said he'd be a buyer of this stock that's fallen from $224 to $200 a share.
Then there's Starbucks, which saw its first quarter in ages with same-store sales falling below 5%. Cramer said the company admitted the roll out of its new loyalty program may have been to blame for the rare miss, but growth in China continues to be a major driver for the company.
Both of these companies are terrific long-term investments, said Cramer, and he threw in McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report as a third great choice. McDonald's has seen shares fall 6% over the past three months but now yields 3.1%.
In his "Homework" segment, Cramer followed up on a few stocks that stumped him during earlier shows. He said that social dating app MeetMe (MEET) - Get Report is a high-risk speculative stock, but it's also cheap at 13 times earnings. For less-courageous investors, Cramer advised sticking with Facebook (FB) - Get Report , an Action Alerts PLUS stock.
Finally, Cramer noted that medical supply company LeMaitre (LMAT) - Get Report is terrific but it also trades at a lofty 34 times earnings. For the same 12% organic growth, investors can get Boston Scientific (BSX) - Get Report at only 19 times earnings.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on what's been a terrible week for the banks.
First there was Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report , which has become embroiled in a cross selling scandal that's sending CEO John Stumpf to testify before Congress next week. Then there were the horrible retail sales numbers, which will make it incredibly hard for the Fed to raise interest rates.
Add all of these together and Cramer said it's simply not a good time to own the banks. Most of these stocks rallied a few weeks ago on hopes the Fed would raise interest rates, but now investors need to prepare for more pain ahead. For those who don't own the banks, Cramer said a better entry point awaits.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in FB, NXPI, PNRA, SBUX, WBA and WFC.