Skip to main content

Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When the markets head south, you need to take opportunities where you can find them, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Tuesday. In today's markets, that means taking advantage of eight big themes and avoiding two major pitfalls.

Cramer's list of opportunities includes:

1. Aerospace. Cramer said airlines are flush with cash and planes remain in demand.

2. Non-Residential Construction. After years of decline, this major generator of jobs is on the mend.

3. Personal Computers. The decline in PCs may finally be winding down because component makers appear to be bottoming.

4. Mergers and Acquisitions. The two big deals so far this year, Beam (BEAM) and Time Warner Cable (TWC) , may just be the beginning.

5. Banking. The banking woes are winding down and all eyes are focused on the rise in net interest margins.

6. Europe. As Ford (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report, General Electric (GE) - Get General Electric Company Report -- a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS -- and may others have noted, Europe is growing again.

7. Telco Equipment Spending. Both Ciena (CIEN) - Get Ciena Corporation Report, another AAP holding, and F5 Networks (FFIV) - Get F5, Inc. Report are seeing strong equipment sales.

8. American Natural Gas. Cramer said chemical companies are finally benefiting from cheap American natural gas.

Cramer said investors also need to watch out for two major hurdles in the markets: One is a glut of oil and the continue assault on coal. He noted that both of these industries remain under pressure.

The other market hurdle: empty malls, which have been wrecking havoc on a host of retailers.

Executive Decision: Cheryl Bachelder

For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of AFC Enterprises (AFCE) , which starting today will be known as Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI) . Shares of Popeyes are up 75% since Cramer first got behind the stock 18 months ago.

Bachelder painted a mixed picture for the quarter. She said while sales were up 1%, overall traffic was down, although it's still less than the quick-service restaurant group overall. Among the major hurdles is consumer confidence. Bachelder said consumers need to be upbeat about their futures in order to start spending again.

Popeyes still remains a turnaround story, Bachelder noted, with 60% of its stores now remodeled and seeing a 34% uptick in sales as a result. When asked about saturation, Bachelder said Popeyes is not saturated in any market yet, which is why the company opened 194 new locations just last year. New national advertising has people lined up and waiting at many of the new restaurants, she continued.

TheStreet Recommends

When asked about international sales, Bachelder said that is another terrific opportunity for Popeyes. She said the company has opened a dozen locations in Peru, which are off to a great start.

Cramer remains bullish on the newly renamed Popeyes.

Peltz' Sweet Tooth

Following in the footsteps of successful activist investors is a fool's game, unless that activist investor is Nelson Peltz, Cramer told viewers. That's why Peltz' recent interest in snack-maker Mondelez (MDLZ) - Get Mondelez International, Inc. Class A Report should have caught investors' attention.

Cramer explained that unlike many activists, which invest only for quick gains, Peltz has a 30-year track record of providing great returns for the long haul. His involvement with Heinz (HNZ) has seen a 75% gain for shareholders as margins improved and innovation flourished thanks to Peltz' positive input.

Other Peltz investments included Wendy's (WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report, which has seen a 97% gain; Ingersoll-Rand (IR) - Get Ingersoll Rand Inc. Report, 77%; and Legg Mason (LM) - Get Legg Mason, Inc. Report, 75%.

Don't expect instant returns from Mondelez, Cramer warned. But do expect that Peltz will know what to do with such great brands as Ritz crackers, Chips Ahoy cookies and Philadelphia cream cheese. Even an increase in margins from 12% to 16% would be huge for the company and shareholders alike.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) , BP (BP) - Get BP Plc Report, BioMarin (BMRN) - Get BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. Report and Cameco (CCJ) - Get Cameco Corporation Report.

Cramer was bearish on Trinity Industries (TRN) - Get Trinity Industries, Inc. Report.

Off the Charts

In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Ed Ponsi over the chart of Alcoa (AA) - Get Alcoa Corporation Report, a much-hated stock that's been on the move in 2014, up nearly 20% on strong fundamentals.

Ponsi noted that Alcoa has been building a base for the past 18 months. The longer the base, the bigger the move, he concluded.  Alcoa is now breaking out from that base.

This move is supported by a number of other technicals. All of Alcoa's moving averages are aligned for a move higher, Ponsi's research showed, with the shorter averages leading the longer ones higher. The MACD momentum indicator is flashing buy signals, and Alcoa's strong volume -- the highest in nearly four years -- is also confirming the move.

Given that Alcoa has been trading sideways for so long, Ponsi saw no resistance for the stock until it tests 2011 highs near $16 a share, nearly 32% higher than where it currently trades.

Cramer said he's been bullish on Alcoa for a while after hating it for years.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said it's important to recognize patterns, both profitable ones and repeated mistakes. One of the patterns he's learned is that not all estimate cuts are bad.

That's the case with UPS (UPS) - Get United Parcel Service, Inc. Class B Report, which messed up big time in the days leading up to Christmas. Volume far exceeded expectations, UPS admitted, and the peak package days came a full week later than expected thanks to an uptick in last-minute online shopping.

But having too much business is a good thing, Cramer noted. UPS, the world leader in logistics, is sure to not make the same mistake twice. That makes the weakness in UPS shares a buying opportunity, Cramer concluded.

To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here.

-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC

At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS has a position in CIEN, GE.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.