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



) -- This market marches to the tune of expectations, Jim Cramer said on 

Mad Money

 Tuesday. It's expectations, not the earnings, that determine the direction of a company's stock price.

That's how a stock like Whirlpool (WHR) - Get Whirlpool Corporation (WHR) Report could miss estimates by 9 cents a share and still see its shares up over 6% by the day's close, Cramer explained, or how Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) shares could rocket 13% on its earnings. In the case of Wild Wings, Cramer said the expectations were that higher wing prices would cripple earnings. Unfortunately for the bears, nothing could have further from the truth.

Other winners in the expectations game included Cummins (CMI) - Get Cummins Inc. Report , Parker-Hannifin (PH) - Get Parker-Hannifin Corporation Report and Spirit Airlines (SAVE) - Get Spirit Airlines, Inc. Report , all companies where investors expected a little but received a lot.

On the flip side, however, were stocks like Kohl's (KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation (KSS) Report , where investors were hoping for a turnaround that never came, said Cramer. Kohl's shares fell 6% on the disappointment, as did Masco (MAS) - Get Masco Corporation (MAS) Report and Facebook (FB) - Get Facebook, Inc. Class A Report , a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, which plummeted 11% on not-so-hot guidance.

That's why expectations matter, and why stocks that run up going into an earnings release rarely are able to hold onto those early gains, Cramer concluded.

Off the Charts

In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Dan Fitzpatrick over the direction of the broader markets.

Starting off with a daily chart of the S&P 500, Fitzpatrick noted the index's multi-year uptrend broke down in early October, climaxing on Oct. 15 where it saw a bullish reversal midday and never looked back. Since then the S&P has rallied nearly 9% to a level that Fitzpatrick now thinks is overbought in the short term.

While the S&P broke below its key 200-day moving average during that time, a bearish sign, it only did so for seven days before recovering, keeping Fitzpatrick bullish over the longer term.

A weekly chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average shows that index bottomed on the same day as the S&P but has been slower to recover. Fitzpatrick felt the Dow will likely consolidate below its resistance level of 17,350.

Finally, Fitzpatrick looked at the Nasdaq, noting a double top at 4,600, a level he said will now be that index's resistance level. With volumes declining as the Nasdaq has been recovering, Fitzpatrick also felt this index will likely trade sideways over the short term.

Cramer said he found Fitzpatrick's uneventful analysis to be reassuring, saying he'd still be a buyer on any market pullbacks to be ready for when the bull market resumes.

Yahoo!'s Mayer Beats Twitter's Costolo

Cramer said it's time for the venom directed towards Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer to end and for the pundits to set their sights on Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report , an Action Alerts PLUS holding.

Cramer, who last defended Mayer on "Mad Money" last week, noted that not only has Mayer tripled the price of Yahoo's stock since taking the helm in 2012, she also mended fences with Alibaba (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Sponsored ADR Report , allowing Yahoo! to retain 122 million shares rather than being forced to sell them all.

TheStreet Recommends

Meanwhile, Twitter is telling a different story. Growth is slowing, Cramer said, and Costolo's plans to remedy the situation appear cloudy at best. At a time when Twitter could easily become the world's realtime news service, it isn't.

Cramer said the free pass for Costolo needs to end before the sun starts setting on an otherwise great company. As for Mayer, he concluded, what more could you ask for?

Executive Decision: Ben Baldanza

For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Ben Baldanza, president and CEO of Spirit Airlines (SAVE) - Get Spirit Airlines, Inc. Report , which just posted a 3-cents-a-share earnings beat on a 13% rise in revenue, news that send shares up 7% on the day. Shares of Spirit are up 22% since Cramer last checked in six months ago.

Baldanza said Spirit is all about offering travelers value and making the business of flying understandable to people. He said that if the price is right, more people are willing to travel and Spirit is the airline for price-conscious travelers.

Baldanza continued that Spirit has seen no impact from the recent Ebola scare and is also benefiting from lower fuel prices in the short term.

Baldanza took an interesting view on fuel prices over the long term, however, noting the higher prices of years past actually helped the airline industry a lot by forcing consolidation and putting everyone on a more solid footing.

Cramer said Spirit continues to deliver for not only its customers but its shareholders.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) Report , Agios Pharmaceuticals (AGIO) - Get Agios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Report , EOG Resources (EOG) - Get EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG) Report , Fortinet (FTNT) - Get Fortinet, Inc. (FTNT) Report , CyberArk Software (CYBR) - Get CyberArk Software Ltd. Report , Halliburton (HAL) - Get Halliburton Company (HAL) Report and Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) .

Cramer was bearish on GNC Holdings (GNC) - Get GNC Holdings, Inc. Class A Report , Rice Energy (RICE) - Get RICE ACQUISITION CORP. Report and FireEye (FEYE) - Get FireEye, Inc. Report .

Executive Decision: Martin Richenhagen

In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke to Martin Richenhagen, president and CEO of Agco (AGCO) - Get AGCO Corporation Report , which today reported a 9-cents-a-share earnings beat.

Richenhagen said Agco still has a great story to tell with a growing global population with changing dietary tastes. Additinoally, he said Agco continues to do the right things, including its recently announced stock repurchase program.

When asked about inventory levels, Richenhagen said levels are reasonable for the current environment and Agco continues to manage inventories very well. Richenhagen did admit, however, that sanctions against Russia are challenging the business.

Cramer said Agco is one situation where what comes down must eventually go back up.

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 had a position in CMI, FB, GS and TWTR.