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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- We need to see the speculative stocks and the biotechs get washed out before we sound the "all clear," Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. Cramer said that caution, not aggression, will be the theme of next week's game plan.
On Monday, Cramer said, his mandate is that if you're trading on margin, you sell. Never invest with borrowed money because times like these are when margin traders tend to get crushed, he cautioned.
For Tuesday, Cramer said he'll be watching Alcoa (AA), a stock that's up 60% from its lows last year. He said to expect some profit taking in Alcoa even if it reports a great quarter.
Next, on Wednesday, it's Constellation Brands (STZ) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) in the spotlight. Cramer said Constellation is benefiting from the forced spinoffs of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) but Bed Bath remains in "no man's land."
Then, on Thursday, Pier 1 Imports (PIR) and Rite Aid (RAD) will be reporting. Cramer said he expects good things from Pier 1 but the stock is too high to recommend. Rite Aid is a possible buy if the market weakness continues into next week.
Finally, on Friday, it's Wells Fargo (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS. Cramer said he was hoping to see a gentle rise in interest rates to help these big banks along, so for now just listen to what these banks have to say.
Is this what a top in the market looks like? That's what Cramer was thinking while looking at the life-size food characters dancing around the New York Stock Exchange Friday morning as the hoopla surrounding the GrubHub (GRUB) initial public offering kicked into full gear.
Cramer said he's been worried the markets simply cannot handle the large supply of new IPOs flooding in day after day. It reminded him of the dot-com collapse of 2001 when investors simply got greedy and paid the price.
But unlike 2001, Cramer said, companies like GrubHub are profitable and have actual earnings growth. At today's prices, the stock trades at 16 times earnings with a 30% growth rate, he noted, which makes it expensive but not outrageous.
But for every IPO gone well, there are countless others that are not profitable and, like 2001, are trading on a multiple of sales or other sketchy metrics.
Cramer said it's his duty to call out froth and greed when he sees it. While the market may be in a different place than it was in 2001, he still sees a yellow flag that could turn red if the market doesn't pull the plug on these less-than-worthy deals.
And the Winner Is...
For the final installment of his "Final Four" tribute to the NCAA basketball "March Madness," Cramer pitted his S&P 500 winner, Nabors Industries (NBR), versus the Nasdaq winner, Intercept Pharmaceuticals (ICPT).
With Nabors booking a respectable 41% gain for the year compared to a staggering 325% for Intercept, Cramer said the choice is clear: Nabors wins by a landslide.
Cramer explained the market has simply lost its appetite for speculative, risky stocks, as evidenced by Friday's decline of over 9% in Intercept. The upside for this company's pending blockbuster drug is already baked into its share price, as is the the upside for its second drug in development.
Intercept is a shining example of what's wrong with a whole segment of stocks, stocks that lack earnings but trade at high valuations with lots of insider trading and skittish shareholders that are trading on margin.
Meanwhile, Nabors represents everything the market is craving -- cyclical stocks that are undervalued, 14 times earnings in Nabors' case, but will do better as the economy improves and, in Nabors' case, as oil prices climb. That's why in this content it's not even close. The market has already spoken.
Executive Decision: David Crane
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy (NRG), a stock that's up over 13% so far in 2014.
Cramer asked Crane about his comment in a recent article that there are no Apples or Googles in the energy industry. Crane said that indeed, companies such as Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) are innovating and creating trillions of dollars of market cap for their shareholders while the energy industry remains rather stagnant.
Crane continued that, historically, people have been force-fed their power and have only had one company from which to choose. But now with new solar, wind and fuel cell technologies, that model will change as people generate more of their own power.
Crane likened the transition to that in the telecom industry, where it took 20 years for wireless technology to eclipse land lines, but in the end the newer technology won out in a big way. Solar is not just for those who live in the Arizona desert, Crane said. It's big in Germany, for example, and the German climate is far from desert conditions.
Cramer said he likes NRG's forward thinking.
In his "Cramer's Playbook" segment, Cramer answered the question of how to pay for your kids' college and whether a 529 plan is the way to go.
Cramer said there are few things better than paying for as much of your child's education as possible. That said, saving for your own retirement should always be the first priority.
The best way to save for college is with a 529 saving plan, Cramer continued. While rules differ from state to state, overall these plans operate similar to a 401(K) plan, where investors choose from a list of investments and are allowed to see their gains grow tax-free.
Cramer said while he prefers to be able to pick his own investments, choosing a low-cost fund that mirrors the market is a great way to go given that investments historically double every nine years. Investors can contribute $14,000 a year if they're single, double that if married, and can front-load up to five years worth of contributions right after your child is born.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt