NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "There's more to this market that just oil prices," Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers on Friday as he laid out his game plan for next week's action. He said that the company's reporting earnings next week will paint a detailed picture of the economy as a whole. That's why on Monday, Cramer said he'll be watching Priceline.com ( PCLN) and Southwest Energy ( SWN). He said that Priceline will tell us if momentum stocks are back in vogue, while Southwest can tell us whether natural gas prices can still go lower. For Tuesday, it's AutoZone ( AZO), Domino's Pizza ( DPZ) and Markwest Energy ( MWE) that will have Cramer's attention. He was bullish on all three of these stocks. Then on Wednesday, Costco ( COST), Joy Global ( JOY) and Staples ( SPLS) will be reporting. Cramer said he's in listen-mode for these companies, and wants to hear how price inflation, weak coal demand and small business growth will be affecting these stocks. Thursday brings the earnings of Kroger ( KR) and Foot Locker ( FL). Cramer said that Kroger pales by comparison to Whole Foods Markets ( WFM), but Foot Locker will provide an update in the battle between Under Armour ( UA) and Nike ( NKE). On the IPO front, Cramer said investors should get in on the IPO of the business-rating site Yelp, but should not trade it in the open market. If the deal pops, he said, investors must "take the money and run."
Waiting to HappenWith President Obama talking up natural gas in recent days, Cramer once again spoke with David Demers, president and CEO of Westport Innovations ( WPRT), the country's leading natural gas engine maker. Westport's stock has seen a 20% gain so far this year and is up a stunning 263% since Cramer first got behind the alternative fuel play in Jan 2010. Demers brought along with him a brand new Ford ( F) F-250 pickup truck designed to run on both natural gas and regular gas, giving the vehicle a combined 600-mile range. Demers said the truck will be available to customers in the second quarter of this year and solves the anxiety surrounding "where do I fill up" until more natural gas fueling stations come into existence. When asked about the transition to natural gas for vehicles, Demers said plainly "it's going to happen." He said everyone wants vehicles that run on a domestic resource that costs about half of what foreign gasoline does. He said while the Ford vehicle sacrifices some of its bed capacity to fit in the extra tanks, vehicles that run just on natural gas don't have to sacrifice any space or performance. So what's the biggest hurdle for natural gas? Demers said it's scale. He said that starting from zero means that the vehicles must cost more, but thanks to partnerships with companies like Cummins ( CMI), that transition will be far less painful. "Everyone is concerned with fuel costs," said Demers, and truckers will benefit handsomely by offering customers no diesel fuel surcharges. Another exciting opportunity is locomotives, said Demers. Westport is currently developing a natural gas locomotive that should be on the rails next year as a proof of concept vehicle. Cramer once again rallied behind the notion of using clean, domestic natural gas for trucks and surface vehicles to make America energy independent, leaving foreign oil from hostile nations in the past. He once again endorsed Westport Innovations.
Running on Natural GasContinuing with his natural gas crusade, Cramer also spoke with Andrew Littlefair, CEO of Clean Energy Fuels ( CLNE), a natural gas fueling station provider that's seen its shares rise 55% since November 2010. Littlefair dispelled the notion that natural gas will just be used for heavy duty trucks. He said in Europe, there are 62 models of natural gas vehicles, including vans and light duty pickups. In time, he said, those vehicles will make their way to the U.S. Littlefair also noted that people often forget that back in the 1970's, heavy duty trucks ran on regular gasoline. Then diesel fuel became cheaper and the industry switched to diesel. Today, the same thing is happening with natural gas. When asked about the economics, Littlefair said that a natural gas truck costs $35,000 more than the equivalent diesel truck. But with trucks using 20,000 gallons of fuel per year and natural gas being $1.50 a gallon less than diesel, the payback is a little over a year. He said that's why 80% of all trash trucks purchased this year will run on natural gas, a trend that will be seen in other industries soon. Turning to the fueling station business, Littlefair noted that someday the major fuel chains will offer natural gas along side their gas and diesel offerings, but until then, Clean Energy Fuels is ramping up stations so that trucks will soon be able to cross the country on natural gas. Cramer reiterated his recommendation of Clean Energy Fuels.