Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: It's Time to Pause

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's time to take a pause, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Thursday.

There are too many negatives in the markets to still be buying at these levels, and investors need to be extra cautious until the many positives come into better focus, he said.

Cramer said that going into the weekend he expects many money managers will be cashing out on worries that news out of Europe will sour the markets over the weekend. He said this will likely lead to additional declines beyond today's weak close.

Additionally, Cramer said that he expects President Obama, who has been silent on the sequester of late, to begin speaking again next week as the spending cuts take hold. Add to that weak earnings from FedEx ( FDX), Caterpillar ( CAT) and Oracle ( ORCL), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS , and it's looking like a tough couple of days for the markets.

Cramer said investors shouldn't become too pessimistic on the markets, however, as there are still many things that can go right. He said a grand bargain could be reached by Congress on spending cuts, or the Europeans could conceive of a better bailout plan for Cyprus. If either of those two were to happen, he said, anyone short or out of the markets would be left behind in the blink of an eye.

Cramer said that there's also the possibility of good news stemming from China as well as continued positive news from the U.S. retail and housing sectors. Those events could also spur the markets higher.

But with the negatives coming into focus and the positives still only possibilities, Cramer said investors need to get cautious and not buy anything at current levels.

Executive Decision: Lars Bjork

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Lars Bjork, president and CEO of Qlik Technologies ( QLIK), a business intelligence software company that has seen its shares rise 22% so far this year and a full 50% off the November lows.

Bjork said Qlik helps businesses visualize their data so they can make real-time decisions about their business. He said unlike legacy software systems, where IT departments provide reports to users and managers, Qlik's technology makes it easy for users to generate their own reports at they need them.

Bjork said Qlik has 20 years of experience in the business intelligence marketplace and is leading the consumerization of enterprise software applications. He said one of the most common data sources Qlik customers plug into belongs to Salesforce.com ( CRM), another disrupting force in the industry.

No matter what system companies are using to process their data and spot trends, Bjork said they will still need Qlik to help with the "last mile" of presenting data in a way users can understand and making the information accessible to those who need it.

Cramer said the need for business intelligence is in great demand and Qlik is one of the leaders in the space.

Changes at the Top

When a company has a sudden change in management, investors need to be looking for the exit, Cramer reminded viewers. He said that while CEOs and CFOs retire all the time, those who leave suddenly, without a succession plan, must be sold immediately.

Case in point: Mellanox ( MLNX), which has seen its shares fall by nearly 50% since announcing an unexpected management shakeup last October. More recently, Ulta Salon ( ULTA) announced its CEO was stepping down on the heels of its CFO resigning late last year. Cramer said that news sent shares down 12%.

True Religion ( TRLG) is the latest company to announce changes at the top, and Cramer said news like this is rarely a sign that good things are happening at a company.

Sometimes bad CEOs get the boot, however, and that's good news. See Groupon ( GRPN) and Avon Products ( AVP) for recent examples of stocks rising on the news of a CEO departure.

Then there are great CEOs who step down the right way, with a known succession plan that investors are expecting. That leads to good things, as McDonald's ( MCD), Costco ( COST) and most recently ARM Holdings ( ARMH) have proven.

So whenever a stock in your portfolio announces a change at the top, Cramer said, investors need to figure out which scenario fits and act accordingly.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Two Harbors ( TWO), Realogy Holdings ( RLGY) and Cisco Systems ( CSCO).

Cramer was bearish on Amarin ( AMRN) and Orbital Sciences ( ORB).

Am I Diversified?

In the "Am I Diversified?" segment, Cramer spoke with callers and responded to tweets sent via Twitter to @JimCramer to see if investors' portfolios have what it takes for today's markets.

The first portfolio included: Under Armour ( UA), Cogent Communications ( CCOI), Home Depot ( HD), IMAX ( IMAX) and Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B).

Cramer said this portfolio was "pretty perfect" and well diversified.

The second portfolio's top holdings included: BP ( BP), Mondelez ( MDLZ), Bristol-Myers Squibb ( BMY), Verizon ( VZ) and Public Service Enterprise ( PEG).

Cramer also blessed this portfolio as diversified with great yield.

The third portfolio had: Dendreon ( DNDN), Ford ( F), Zynga ( ZNGA), Financial Select SPDR ( XLF) and Zoetis ( ZTS) as its top five stocks.

Cramer said that Dendreon was too much like too much like Zoetis and this portfolio needed to add a diversified industrial or a technology stock.

The fourth portfolio's top stocks were: KeyCorp ( KEY), Kinder Morgan Partners ( KMP), Verizon, Altria ( MO) and Pfizer ( PFE).

Cramer said this portfolio was also perfect.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer followed up on General Mills ( GIS) and Sanchez Energy ( SN), two companies whose CEOs he interviewed on last night's show.

Cramer explained that all too often, due to time constraints, he doesn't have time to fully explain how he feels about a company after he interviews a CEO. He called General Mills a terrific investment for those investing for the long term and those investing for their kids -- although he'd wait for a pullback before pulling the trigger.

As for Sanchez, Cramer said that company is the opposite -- it's for those younger investors who can take more risks on speculative stocks. He said Sanchez is taking a gamble on the land it purchased, but if the oil is there the company'll be a huge winner.

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To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.

-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRutt or get updates on Facebook, ScottRuttDC
At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in BMY, CSCO, HD, KEY and ORCL.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for TheStreet.com, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of TheStreet.com or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC Universal or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither TheStreet.com, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or TheStreet.com is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

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Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on TheStreet.com. The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in TheStreet.com, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.

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