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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors need to expect the worst but prepare for the best, Jim Cramer said on "Mad Money" Friday from a safe place hiding under his desk. He said the markets panicked as expected today, but savvy investors should've been prepared for a selloff of this nature because they're a vital part of any long-term rally.
Cramer said he is taking problems in China and emerging-market slowdowns seriously, but also said the U.S. is in far better shape than when similar woes emerged in Europe a few years ago -- which means when the selling's over, it'll be a great time to buy.
That's why Cramer's game plan includes listening to Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) and Apple (AAPL - Get Report), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, on Monday. Cramer said these companies will provide a reading on the global economy and the temperament of the markets.
On Tuesday, Cramer said, he'll be watching American Airlines (AAL - Get Report), along with Ford (F - Get Report) and DuPont (DD). American is just a buy, he said, but Ford's Latin American business may be at risk and he's curious to see if the new DuPont is less immune to the economic cycle.
Then, on Thursday, it's 3M (MMM - Get Report), Under Armour (UA - Get Report) and Colgate-Palmolive (CL - Get Report) in the spotlight. Cramer said these three unconventional tech stocks should all do well as the market becomes less emotional by this point next week.
Finally, on Friday, it's Abbvie (ABBV - Get Report), Weyerhaeuser (WY - Get Report) and MasterCard (MA - Get Report) reporting. Cramer said by Friday the markets will likely be oversold, making these stocks a bargain.
Off the Charts
In the "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Bob Lang over the chart of Himax Technologies (HIMX - Get Report), the chip maker powering many of today's LCD displays. Shares of Himax are up 350% since Cramer last mentioned the stock in October, but they were down 8.5% as the markets began to sell off this week.
Looking at the daily chart, Lang noted that those who bought into November's big selloff in Himax came out huge winners. The stock remains in a strong trend, with buyers coming in on every dip. This trend was confirmed by the Williams oscillator, the relative strength indicator, or RSI, as well as the MACD indicator, all of which signal that Himax is a buy on weakness.
Turning to the weekly chart, the uptrend in Himax was also confirmed, and Lang noted the stock has bounced off of every dip for the past few months.
Cramer said he's a believer in Lang's research, and the recent weakness is a rare entry point for this high flier. The stock does report earnings in three weeks, however, and did get clobbered last quarter because it only met, but did not beat, expectations.
Sticking With Starbucks
Cramer told viewers that from now on he's betting with Seattle -- and not just in football. He said many stellar companies are located in Seattle, from Boeing's (BA - Get Report) huge factories to Amazon.com's (AMZN - Get Report) and Costco's (COST - Get Report) headquarters, to Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) and, of course, Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report).
Starbucks shares sank in after-hours trading Thursday on what the headlines deemed a "big miss" on earnings. But after listening to the conference call the story was quite different -- sales are picking up in Europe, Chinese sales remained OK, and the first quarter will likely be rosy thanks to huge sales of gift cards last quarter.
But Cramer said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz remains one of his "bankable 21 CEOs" because of his declaration that a secular shift in consumer behavior has begun, one away from shopping in malls and towards shopping online. That bodes well for Starbucks, which continues to embrace everything digital, mobile and social, as well as diversifying into many new channels with new food items that are making the chain less of a morning-only routine.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Intercontinental Exchange (ICE - Get Report), Cemex (CX - Get Report), Boston Scientific (BSX - Get Report), Eastman Chemical (EMN - Get Report), World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE - Get Report), Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRAA - Get Report) and H&R Block (HRB - Get Report).
Cramer was bearish on Airgas (ARG).
Executive Decision: Rick Hamada
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Rick Hamada, CEO of Avnet (AVT - Get Report), which just delivered a six-cents-a-share earnings beat on better-than-expected revenue and upside guidance. Despite the upbeat news, shares are now trading over $2 less than when the company reported, thanks to the overall market weakness.
Hamada had many positive things to say, noting that last quarter saw record revenue for Avnet and the company continues to do the right things over time and deliver for shareholders.
Hamada noted Avnet's component business, which had seen strong growth last year, saw double-digit increases this quarter. He said that solutions -- offering hardware, software and services as a package deal to customers -- continues to be a driver in their business.
Finally, Hamada said Avnet still has a lot of room left on its share repurchase authorization, so the company will be taking advantage of weakness in their shares to buy back more stock.
Cramer reminded viewers that sometimes good companies go down through no fault of their own, and Avnet is one of those companies.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer told viewers to stay out of the blast zone that is emerging-market stocks. "You will get crushed," he warned. He told viewers to avoid thinking they can pick through the rubble for bargains.
Cramer said he learned the lesson of emerging markets the hard way, investing years ago in what he deemed to be terrific Turkish stocks. However, after failing to take into account declines in the Turkish currency, Cramer realized he had lost half of his investment in the blink of an eye.
Meanwhile, there are terrific U.S. stocks are getting taken down with the rest of the markets but aren't having any of the problems. Cramer said it'd be far more prudent to invest in these companies than ones you likely know nothing about.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt