Like it or not, stocks are joined at the hip to the bond market, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. It's a battle of value versus growth, the industrials versus technology, and these groups can never rally at the same time. That's why next week's game plan hinges on the comments of Fed chair Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
On Monday, we'll hear the first installment of those comments, when Powell will be speaking. If the bond market freaks out again, Cramer said expect another beat down of technology stocks.
Next, on Tuesday we'll get earnings from GameStop (GME) - Get Report and Adobe Systems (ADBE) - Get Report. Cramer couldn't make a rational case for GameStop heading higher from these levels and said Adobe's earnings likely won't move its stock no matter how good they are.
Wednesday brings more comments from Powell, along with Yellen, which could again roil stocks. We'll also hear from retailers RH (RH) - Get Report and Grow Generation (GRWG) - Get Report, along with General Mills (GIS) - Get Report. Cramer expects good things from RH and Grow Generation. He will be listening to General Mills to see how well the pantry stocks are faring as the economy reopens.
Finally on Friday, more economic news when we'll get the latest personal income and consumer spending reports.
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Executive Decision: Utz Brands
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke once again with Dylan Lissette, CEO of snack maker Utz Brands (UTZ) , which rallied 5.2% by the close as investors cheered the company's latest earnings.
Utz is celebrating their 100-year anniversary this year and Lissette said that the company has been growing brand by brand and geography by geography for decades. They are now the third-largest snackmaker in the U.S. and are well on their way to become No. 2.
Lissette said the secret to their success is that they know how to make great tasting snacks. Customers keep coming back, which is how Utz has been able to achieve a 70% repeat rate.
Another secret to Utz's growth is digital media. Lissette said that Utz increased digital marketing by 60% last year and will likely increase even more this year. Digital media has allowed Utz to pivot faster, adding to their growth.
Executive Decision: Upstart
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Dave Girouard, founder and CEO of Upstart (UPST) - Get Report, the digital lending platform powered by artificial intelligence. Shares of Upstart popped 8.8% today after the company reported 57% revenue growth.
Upstart's mission is to improve access to credit, Girouard explained. He said their offerings were designed from the start to be fair and inclusive and those beliefs are central to who they are.
Upstart is a fee-based business that partners with banks rather than taking on credit risk themselves, Girouard added. The company has announced they will be acquiring Prodigy Software to help expand their offerings to the car shopping experience. Upstart has also partnered with companies like Intuit (INTU) - Get Report to further promote digital personal finance.
Girouard added that Upstart is also working to translate their lending process into Spanish, tapping into a traditionally underserved market. Everything from marketing, to agreements to customer service will soon be offered for Spanish speakers.
Cramer said investors haven't missed the growth in Upstart, even with shares having doubled in recent months.
Executive Decision: Twilio
Lawson explained that Twilio is a platform that allows developers to communicate with their customers, whether that be via voice, text, email or video. And while Twilio is best known for alerting you when your delivery arrives or when your flight is running late, the company also donates 1% of its profits to non-profit entities.
Twilio's non-profit efforts have taken on a whole new meaning this year as the world rushes to get vaccinated. Lawson said Twilio is sending messages alerts that help people schedule appointments, find locations, check their reactions after they receive their shots and make sure they get their second doses on time.
Outbreaks of COVID put us all at risk, Lawson added, and it's been a huge humanitarian effort to get the world to where the vaccinations are.
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Incentives for Vaccines
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer analyzed the recent exchange between Dr. Anthony Stephen Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, and Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
The two clashed during a COVID-19 hearing on Thursday, about the value of the vaccine and whether people should wear masks after getting vaccinated.
Cramer said we need to do more to incentivize everyone to get this vaccine. In a recent survey, only 22% of small business owners say they will require their employees to get vaccinated. Meanwhile, cruises, stadiums and casinos are allowing people to gather, also without requiring vaccines.
Cramer advocated a "no vaccine, no service" policy. He said if cruise ships made vaccines mandatory, others would likely follow suit, as everyone is tired of this pandemic and wants to return to normal as fast as possible.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the "Mad Money Lightning Round" Friday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in NVDA.