Jim Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap: Next Week's Game Plan

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One day doesn't set a precedent, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" viewers Friday, but a whole year is a different story. Cramer noted that 14 of the past 17 times the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 20% in a year, the following year saw gains averaging 15%.

That's why when earnings season kicks off next week, Cramer said he'll be ignoring the headlines and diving into the conference calls, looking for better-than-expected revenue and earnings as well as guidance that will force analysts to raise their estimates.

On Monday, Cramer said he'll be watching the Chinese PMI numbers. With so many industrials leading this rally, he said the world will need a strong Europe and China to keep things going.

Tuesday brings earnings from The Container Store (TCS) and Micron Technologies (MU). Cramer said that Container needs to accelerate store openings to impress Wall Street and Micron must say there's no new chip manufacturing capacity coming online anytime soon if it wants its earnings to matter.

Then, on Wednesday, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Monsanto (MON) report. Cramer told viewers to steer clear of Bed Bath, which trades wildly around earnings, and Monsanto, on the news that General Mills (GIS) is ditching genetically modified grains for some of its cereals.

Next up, on Thursday, it's Alcoa (AA) officially kicking off the first quarter. Cramer said this company offers an excellent read on the global economy, from autos and aerospace to construction.

Finally, on Friday, it's the U.S. non-farm payroll numbers that investors will be fretting over. Cramer said he suspects this report will be strong.

Top 5 Stocks

Looking for the best stocks for 2014? Cramer told viewers to look no further than the best stocks from 2013 as he dove into the top five stocks in the S&P 500.

Topping the list is Netflix (NFLX), which rose a staggering 297% in 2013, as this cult stock is seemingly loved by everyone. Cramer said he'd use deep-in-the-money call options to play this high flier.

Next on the list is Micron Technologies (MU), rallying 236%. Cramer said investors are late to the game with this stock but it still trades at just 10 times earnings.

Best Buy (BBY) takes the number three spot in the S&P last year with a 236% gain. Cramer said new management and new vigor makes this stock a buy on any weakness.

At the number four spot is Cramer's favorite among the group, Delta Airlines (DAL), with a 131% gain. He said this stock is still a high flier and he likes the newfound oligopoly among the airlines, which makes Delta and American Airlines (AAL) both buy, buy, buys.

Finally, there's E-Trade Financial (ETFC) with a respectable 119% rise for 2013. Cramer said he likes Knight Capital Group (KCG) more because they benefit from individuals returning to the markets.

Add Vroom to Your Portfolio

Every portfolio needs a turbocharged growth stock, Cramer told viewers, but choosing between stocks like Amazon.com (AMZN) and Google (GOOG) doesn't have to be difficult using his 10-point scale for rating growth companies.

1. Multi-year growth. Cramer said Amazon is taking market share while Google remains a powerhouse in search. He gave 10 points to Amazon, seven to Google for its lack of China exposure.

2. Total addressable market. Amazon has the largest market in the world while Google has gigantic opportunities in PCs, phones and online. Both companies get 10 points.

3. Staying competitive. Amazon innovates at every turn but Google faces a resurgent Yahoo! (YHOO). Amazon, 10, Google, eight.

4. Use of cash. Cramer said you can't penalize Amazon for spending but Google has been overpaying for things like Motorola. Nine points to Amazon, seven to Google.

5. International. Amazon still has incredible opportunities overseas but Google already gets half its profits there. 10 points Amazon, eight to Google.

6. Balance sheet. Both companies pass with flying colors, 10 points each.

7. The "out" years. Amazon is expensive using 2018 estimates but probably worth it. Google is a steal with single-digit price-earnings ratios. Five points Amazon, 10 points Google.

8. Management. Amazon may be lost without CEO Jeff Bezos but Google seems to have a stable of talent. 10 points Google, only eight for Amazon.

9. Reliance on economy. Ad spending goes down during recessions but Amazon seems to keep on chugging. 10 points Amazon, nine for Google.

10. Margin growth. Amazon, by its low-cost nature, cannot have big margins but Google can. 10 points Google to Amazon's seven.

Add them all up and Amazon wins by a hair, 89 to 87.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Eaton (ETN), Radian Group (RDN), Genworth Financial (GNW), Groupon (GRPN), Avid Technology (AVID) and SolarCity (SCTY).

Cramer was bearish on Lorillard (LO), Sierra Wireless (SWIR), Silicon Graphics (SGI) and SunPower (SPWR).

Off the Charts

In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Bob Lang over the chart of Nasdaq and where it's headed in 2014.

Using a long-term monthly chart of the Powershares QQQ (QQQ), Lang noted that the Williams' oscillator has been overbought since 2010, a so-called embedded trend, making it appear as if the rally is unstoppable. The MACD momentum indicator confirmed this thinking.

Lang also pointed our that the weekly chart only shows one buyable pullback over the past 12 months, while the daily chart indicated that we're currently on the verge of another rare buyable pullback.

Lang also took a look at the Russell 2000 small-cap index and found that it, too, has an embedded overbought condition and should also be bought.

Cramer said he never trades on technicals alone, but using them to gain a edge is always a good idea. Based on what he sees, Cramer said the Nasdaq and the Russell are buys on any weakness.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said he's always looking for stocks that act as keys to where the market is headed. Currently, that stock is General Electric (GE).

GE and many of the industrials have been on a tear as the global economy has been on the mend. But today GE received a downgrade on fears that the run may now be over. Where GE's stock heads next will lead the markets, Cramer noted.

Cramer said he thinks the downgrade is premature, which is why he still owns shares for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS.

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 ETN and GE.

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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