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Mad Money Mailbag: The Earnings Factor

A viewer learns why earnings reports effect stock performance.

Editor's note: The following are questions received from viewers of "Mad Money," seen every day at 6 p.m. EST on CNBC.

Should I buy a stock before it reports earnings?-- John from Montana

Jim Cramer:

Whether you decide to invest in a company before or after it reports earnings can make a major difference in your investment performance. That's because stocks are often more volatile around this time.

In general, I look to buy weakness and sell strength. With that in mind, it's more important to me to purchase a stock on a pullback, than based on the earnings calendar.

Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by

clicking here