Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Bull or Bear?

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There are cross-currents galore in this market, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Thursday, currents that make it almost impossible to determine whether the bulls or the bears have the upper hand.

Cramer said that after regaining some of its losses earlier in the week, he continues to scratch his head over which way the markets may be headed. Why? Because there are simply too many man-made events that could affect our future, and those in charge have little regard for how their actions will impact upon the markets.

Syria remains top of mind, said Cramer. After being told airstrikes were almost a certainty earlier in the week, today they may not be. Then there are the GDP estimates. Economists were expecting 1.7% growth, but today was reported a not-too-shabby number of 2.5%. The market's technicals broke down earlier in the week, but held their ground today. Confused yet?

Verizon's ( VZ) deal to buy out its Vodaphone ( VOD) partner was on, then off but now seems to be back on again. Hain Celestial ( HAIN) said its organic foods were flying off the shelves but then The Fresh Market ( TFM) said the opposite was true.

Then there's our government's impending debates on the debt ceiling, the sequester and a possible shutdown -- debates that neither party in Congress realizes only hurts the economy and the stock market the longer they drag on.

So what's an investor to do? Cramer said if things go right, it could be nirvana but if they go awry it could very easily be a disaster for stocks. With no lifeguards on duty, Cramer said he's sitting on the sidelines and waiting until the coast is clear.

Executive Decision: Marc Benioff

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com ( CRM), a stock that's gained 676% since Cramer first got behind it in November 2008. Salesforce just reported an earnings beat of 2 cents a share on accelerating revenue growth.

Benioff reiterated that Salesforce is on track to have its first-ever $1 billion quarter next quarter, just a few years after booking its first billion-dollar year. He said Salesforce remains the number one customer service software vendor and is now also number one in customer service software as well.

Benioff also touted Salesforce's new alliance with rival Oracle ( ORCL), in which Oracle is using Salesforce's cloud offerings for its sales and service organizations.

Other highlights for the quarter included helping retailers including Home Depot ( HD) connect with their customers and helping internet services such as Yelp ( YELP) attract and manage new customers.

Wowed by Wendy's

Looking for stocks worth buying after the next market selloff? Cramer said to forget about the number or number two players in a sector. He's found two great turnaround stories sitting at a comfortable number three, with plenty of room to grow.

He said both Rite-Aid ( RAD) and Wendy's ( WEN) are less-than-$10 stocks that were left for dead just a few years ago but are now worth buying on any weakness.

Wendy's received a new CEO in 2011. Since that time the restaurant chain has been making some dramatic changes, from remodeling stores to revamping menus to changing the corporate structure and retooling the balance sheet. In an effort Wendy's calls "image activation," the company remodeled 48 of its locations, most of which average over 20 years in age. The result? A 25% increase in sales. That's enough to prompt Wendy's to aggressively re-image 50% of its locations by 2015.

Wendy's has also changed its menu, introducing items and developing a two-tier menu that offers a value menu and a premium menu to compete with the likes of McDonald's ( MCD) value menu and higher-end offerings from the likes of Panera Bread ( PNRA). Wendy's is also converting more of its company-owned stores to franchises as well as paying down its debt.

Rite-Aid is in a similar boat, said Cramer. After trading as low a 93 cents a share just last year, the drugstore chain has ben cutting costs, remodeling its stores and innovating with services such as prescriptions in 15 minutes or less. Its focus on private label has increased margins while its health and wellness initiatives have been a big hit with customers.

Cramer said that trading at 28.5 times earnings with a 17% growth rate, Wendy's is a buy, buy, buy on any weakness, while Rite-Aid, trading at 13.2 times earnings with an 8% growth rate, is equally attractive.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Timken ( TKR), Graco ( GGG), Quanta Services ( PWR), Radian Group ( RDN), Cummins ( CMI), Pfizer ( PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK).

Cramer was bearish on United States Steel ( X), Silver Spring Networks ( SSNI), Arena Pharmaceuticals ( ARNA) and Stewart Information Services ( STC).

Executive Decision: Patrick Smith

In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Patrick Smith, co-founder and CEO of Taser International ( TASR), a stock that's up over 37% in just the past three weeks as investors are getting excited over the company's newest products.

Smith said Taser's big push over the past few years has been in digital evidence management. He noted that police departments spend nearly $2.5 billion a year in litigation surrounding the actions of their officers, yet Taser's new wearable camera can cut that down by 90% by offering video evidence of the officer's actions.

Smith then demonstrated the new technology, explaining that after each police action, officers can easily tag and note their video clips, which are then sent to the cloud for easy storage and retrieval later on. He said many police departments have warehouses of VHS tapes as their video evidence, but Taser is taking departments right to the cloud and has the first-mover advantage.

Cramer said that despite its big move to the upside, Taser remains a very interesting story.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reiterated his mantra of "knowing what you own," especially if you're trying to short a stock. He said the shorts got blindsided by online real estate listing Web site Zillow ( Z), a stock that's soared 245% so far this year.

Cramer said that on the surface, Zillow isn't benefiting from the uptick in home sales any more than a stock like Realogy ( RLGY), yet Realogy's stock hasn't risen nearly as much. He said that's because nearly 18% of Zillow's stock has been sold short, and that's led to a huge short-squeeze that has sent the bears scrambling for cover.

"Many of these shorts didn't know what they were betting against," Cramer concluded. Don't be one of them.

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

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-- 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 GSK and TKR.

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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