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When the economy slows down, high-end retailers such as Whole Foods Market ( WFMI), Nordstrom ( JWN), Coach ( COH) and Tiffany ( TIF) continue to do well because the rich keep spending, said Jim Cramer Friday on his "Mad Money" TV show.

The "very low" end also works, he said, and the "absolute bottom of the barrel is SPAM," which is made by Hormel Foods ( HRL). "I think it's a buy right here," he said.

Cramer likes Hormel because people tend to buy cheaper food when the economy isn't doing well, and "Hormel is the best of breed when it comes to low-quality meat." Additionally, there is a turkey shortage, said Cramer, and Hormel should benefit from higher prices for its turkey products.

Cramer said Hormel isn't a bad company just because it sells cheaper meats. It is a "good company that fills an important niche." Boding well for Hormel is the fact that ConAgra Foods ( CAG) recently reported good results, said Cramer, and if ConAgra can do well, Hormel should "put them to shame" because Hormel is a much better-run company, he said.

Cramer also believes Dollar General ( DG), a budget retailer, should start doing well.

Among restaurants, Cramer likes McDonald's ( MCD) as a low-end play and because of its plan to spin off its Chipotle restaurants.

Cramer also likes Darden Restaurants ( DRI) and Brinker International ( EAT). And, he's not giving up on high-end restaurant play Ruth's Chris Steak House ( RUTH).

Playing Hurricanes' Chemical Reactions

Cramer said he's bullish on NL Industries ( NL), whose subsidiary, Kronos, makes titanium dioxide, an ingredient in paint and toothpaste.

Titanium dioxide is in short supply after Hurricane Katrina hit DuPont's ( DD) titanium dioxide plant, knocking out 5% of the world's supply until at least early 2006. Cramer expects NL Industries to benefit from price increases.

Cramer also likes NL because only two analysts cover the stock, and they both "hate it," he said. The analysts' opinions are bound to change, he said, once price increases go through thus rendering the analysts' earnings estimates too low. Additionally, Cramer wouldn't be surprised to see new analysts covering the stock.

Finally, a number of insiders have recently purchased shares.

Cramer feels it is safe to "pull the trigger" on NL even though the stock was up more than 11% Friday, ending the regular trading session at $16.02.

A caller asked about other chemical plays. Cramer said he considered recommending NOVA Chemicals ( NCX), but it is "not that good a company." Furthermore, the chemical business overall is not a good business right now because its "feed stock," oil, keeps getting more expensive.

Cramer also mentioned Titanium Metals ( TIE) as a possible play on the titanium dioxide shortage but cautioned that like NL Industries, Titanium Metals' stock is "tough to buy" because of the low volume it trades daily.

Riding a Buyback

Buy Goldman Sachs ( GS) and let its buyback lift the stock for you, said Cramer.

Goldman Sachs "knows how to buy back stock," said Cramer. The company bought back stock last quarter, and the stock is now trading 12% higher than it was during the buyback, he said. Goldman just announced another buyback this week, and Cramer expects similar results.

Lockheed Martin ( LMT), on the other hand, also announced a buyback this week. But, Cramer said Lockheed's track record isn't so rosy. Last quarter, Lockheed bought back stock, and the stock is now trading about 5% lower, he said.

The bottom line, said Cramer, is not all buybacks are created equal. Goldman Sachs knows how to do a buyback. Lockheed Martin "accomplished nothing" with its last buyback and will probably fail again, he said.

Cramer said UnitedHealth ( UNH) will be the only company under the new Medicare prescription drug plan to "be in all 50 states." He continues to be bullish on the stock.

And, finally, JDS Uniphase ( JDSU) announced Friday it will seek shareholder approval to do a reverse stock split. Cramer called the move "brilliant" because with fewer shares outstanding, it will allow JDSU to show more meaningful earnings-per-share growth. Now, if only Lucent ( LU), another company with a high share count, would "do the same," he said.

Lightning Round

Bullish

Cramer was bullish on Genentech ( DNA), Urban Outfitters ( URBN), KOS Pharmaceuticals ( KOSP), Goldcorp ( GG), Ultra Petroleum ( UPL), Schering-Plough ( SGP), Penn National Gaming ( PENN), Statoil ASA ( STO), United Technologies ( UTX), Amedisys ( AMED), Garmin ( GRMN), Superior Industries International ( SUP), Coach ( COH), Cemex ( CX) and Microsoft ( MSFT).

Bearish

Cramer was bearish on American Eagle Outfitters ( AEOS), Abercrombie & Fitch ( ANF), Aeropostale ( ARO), Sirius Satellite Radio ( SIRI), Wells Fargo ( WFC), WPT Enterprises ( WPTE), Newmont Mining ( NEM), Plantronics ( PLT), Fleetwood Enterprises ( FLE), Independence Community Bank ( ICBC), IBM ( IBM) and Microtune ( TUNE).


Interested in more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by clicking here. It's a series of articles from Cramer on how to become a better investor. The following table lists some of the rules that Cramer dissects.

1. Pigs Get Slaughtered 2. It's OK to Pay the Taxes
3. Don't Buy All at Once 4. Buy Damaged Stocks
5. Diversify to Control Risk 6. Do Your Homework
7. Don't Panic 8. Buy Best-of-Breed
9. Defend Some Stocks 10. Don't Bet on Bad Stocks
11. Own Fewer Names 12. Cash Is for Winners
13. No Regrets 14. Expect Corrections
15. Know Bonds 16. Don't Subsidize Losers
17. No Room for Hope 18. Be Flexible
19. Quit When Execs Do 20. Patience Is a Virtue
21. Be a TV Critic 22. When to Wait 30 Days
23. Beware the Hype 24. Explain Your Picks
25. Find the Bull Market
Check back for more of Cramer's Rules
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Lucent, UnitedHealth and Microsoft.

James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for ActionAlertsPLUS. While he cannot provide personalized investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send comments on his column by clicking here. Listen to Cramer's RealMoney Radio show on your computer; just click here. Watch Cramer on "Mad Money" at 6 p.m. ET weeknights on CNBC. Click here to order Cramer's latest book, "Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World," click here to get his second book, "You Got Screwed!" and click here to order Cramer's autobiography, "Confessions of a Street Addict." Cramer appreciates your feedback and invites you to send him an email by clicking here.

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