Bad news is once again good news for the stock market, Jim Cramer explained to his Mad Money viewers Friday. Weaker-than-expected non-farm payroll numbers were just the excuse the Federal Reserve needs to keep lowering interest rates and combat the trade war, Cramer said, and hopefully this will be reinforced next week as well.
Cramer's game plan for next week starts on Monday with the latest economic data out of China. Any continued weakness would be a big win for the U.S. in the ongoing trade dispute.
Then on Wednesday, the markets will digest the latest mortgage application numbers and the producer price index, with the consumer price index following on Thursday. Once again, weaker-than-expected numbers would be seen as good news for lower interest rates, but strong numbers would be bad.
Also on Thursday will be earnings from Kroger (KR) - Get Report , the grocery chain that continues to be under pressure, and Broadcom (AVGO) - Get Report , which is winning as 5G wireless rolls out around the globe.
Finally, on Friday, investors will receive the latest retail sales numbers, which will likely be bad for many retailers, but good news for WATCH -- Cramer's acronym for Walmart (WMT) - Get Report , Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report , Target (TGT) - Get Report , Costco (COST) - Get Report and Home Depot (HD) - Get Report , along with thousands of "uncountable" retailers on platforms like Etsy (ETSY) - Get Report , which continue to chip away from established, mall-based retailers.
Cramer and the AAP team are looking at everything from earnings and tariffs to the Federal Reserve. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts Plus.
Off the Charts: Amazon
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Carolyn Boroden over the chart of Amazon, the high-flying retail giant that's been having a rough time since July.
Using a daily chart of Amazon going back nine months, Boroden noted that the stock's decline in May was 292 points. Since its July highs, the stock again fell 292 points before reversing. This swing was confirmed by five different timing cycles that came due between August 26 and 28, right when Amazon shares began to rise.
Boroden said that investors should be buying any dips in Amazon, as her price targets are now $2,115 and $2,216 a share.
Executive Decision: At Home Group
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Lee Bird, chairman, president and CEO of At Home Group (HOME) - Get Report , the home goods retailer with shares that are off 78% for the year as investors fear Chinese tariffs will crimp earnings.
Bird explained that At Home is still largely misunderstood by investors. He said the company is the low price leader in their category, coming in under competitors like Wayfair (W) - Get Report , but they simply don't get credit for it. That's about to change however, as At Home has a plan to start bringing their low prices into focus for customers.
When asked about the effects of tariffs, Bird said that they've been working for over a year to migrate and mitigate the effects of tariffs and will continue to do so. In many cases they can bypass the middleman and deal directly with manufacturers, all of which helps to keep costs under control.
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Defensive Stocks With Catalysts for Growth
Investors worried about an economic slowdown shouldn't just sell everything and walk away, Cramer told viewers. Instead, they should look for defensive stocks that have catalysts for growth, even without a strong economy. One such stock is Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report , which has risen 24% over the past six months as the company turns itself around.
Campbell is getting its house in order, Cramer explained, with the help of an activist investor. The company is aggressively cutting costs and paying down its $9 billion in debt by selling non-core international brands while simultaneously doubling-down on its winning domestic brands.
When the company reported earnings last week, Campbell offered investors strong guidance that included 1% to 3% sales growth with higher margins and solid earnings per share growth. Cramer said the company's $9 billion in debt is a lot less worrisome now that it has the cashflow and growth to manage it.
The Art of Successful Retailers
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said it's the best of times and the worst of times for retail. If you're a high-growth retailer, like Cramer's WATCH list, or a discounter, like Burlington Stores (BURL) - Get Report and Dollar Tree (DLTR) - Get Report , then it's the best of times. But if you're anyone else, times are tough.
However, after the stellar quarter from Lululemon Athletica (LULU) - Get Report , which sent shares up 7.8%, Cramer said he needs to add a third category -- experiential retail. He said companies like Lululemon, and RH, are keeping guests engaged with innovative experiences customers can't get anywhere else.
Lulu has mastered retail, online and even China, eating the lunch of rivals like Macy's (M) - Get Report and Kohl's Stores (KSS) - Get Report , Cramer said, which is why it deserves a spot among the must-own retailers.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AMZN, HD, BURL, KSS.