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Next week is another heavy week for earnings, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday, but even with some strong reports expected all could be lost when the Federal Reserve's Janet Yellen speaks next Friday. That's why Cramer's game plan was optimistic but cautious.
The week starts on Monday with economic data from Europe. Cramer said with the dollar getting stronger and once again hurting international companies, this data could be crucial to what happens next.
Next, on Tuesday, it's earnings from Autozone (AZO) , a Cramer fave, along with homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL - Get Report) , which is not. Cramer said he'd take a pass on Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) but does still like Intuit (INTU - Get Report) .
Wednesday brings earnings from Costco (COST) , a stock he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, and offers a chance to buy on weakness. Cramer would steer clear of Tiffany (TIF - Get Report) , Williams-Sonoma (WSM - Get Report) and PVH (PVH - Get Report) when they report Wednesday.
Then, on Thursday, more retail earnings with Dollar Tree (DLTR - Get Report) , Dollar General (DG - Get Report) and Ulta Salon (ULTA - Get Report) . Cramer said he's betting on Ulta to deliver. He was also bullish on GameStop (GME - Get Report) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW - Get Report) .
Finally, on Friday, Yellen will take center stage and no one knows for sure which way the Fed winds will be blowing that day, so stay tuned.Executive Decision: Jim Snee
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Jim Snee, president and CEO of Hormel Foods (HRL - Get Report) , which reported a 1-cent-a-share earnings beat with raised guidance only to see its shares fall by 8.5%. Shares of Hormel currently trade at 21 times earnings.
Snee said that despite the weakness in the stock, Hormel delivered its 12th consecutive record quarter and raised guidance. He said Hormel is also still actively on the acquisition trial looking to grow its market.
Snee explained that Hormel aims to appeal to every demographic and has legacy items including Spam and Hormel Chili but also tons of younger brands that appeal to younger consumers.
When asked about the troubles related to the Applegate acquisition, Snee explained the company knew going into the deal that the supply for organic items would be constrained, and it was. However since the deal closed, Hormel has been hard at work adding suppliers and expanding production to meet the demand.
Hormel is also still innovating, Snee said, and even items like Skippy peanut butter has seen new product innovations.
Cramer said Hormel is one stock you don't need to worry about long term.
We Don't Need a Rate Hike
The bears and pundits are pounding the table that the Fed needs to raise interest rates and fast, but Cramer said he's not seeing inflation in anything nor anything on the horizon.
A bubble in tech? Cramer said he can't find it. In fact, the migration to cloud computing has had a deflationary effect. Even the red-hot cybersecurity stocks are seeing their great earnings having no effect on their stock.
As for real estate, Cramer said only two markets are overheated, San Francisco and New York and even those appear to be topping out.
As for other investments such as gold, Treasuries and oil, they're not even close to inflationary.
Sure, medical costs and rents are on the rise, but both of those are impervious to interest rates. Cramer said that leaves the Fed with nothing to worry about in the near term. Should it remain cautious? Absolutely. But does it need to act right now? Absolutely not.Executive Decision: Doug Lebda
Lebda said Internet lending today is where online travel was in 2001, just at the beginning of its potential. That's why his company saw 80% year-over-year growth this year and now has over 300 lenders in its network.
Lebda commented on Lending Club (LC - Get Report) , the personal loan service that has come under fire for compliance issues. He said a few lenders, like Lending Club, are having some internal issues but that is not representative of the industry overall.
When asked what's changed to make earnings skyrocket, Lebda said automation has finally arrived, allowing more lenders to compete in a more effective way.
Lebda also commented on Zillow (Z - Get Report) , which plans to enter the mortgage market. He said Zillow should do great things in that space, but also noted that LendingTree offers a lot more than just mortgages, including personal and auto loans.
Cramer said he remains a fan on LendingTree.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Manitowoc (MTW - Get Report) , FedEx (FDX - Get Report) , Whole Foods Markets (WFM) , First Solar (FSLR - Get Report) and Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report) .
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer warned viewers the emerging markets have been a very risky place to invest of late, with nearly every emerging market index solidly in the red. So rather than investing in an index, why not invest in the company that makes the index?
Cramer introduced MSCI (MSCI - Get Report) , an index and analytics company that serves 97 out of the top 100 asset managers and administers over 750 exchange-traded funds. He said MSCI has become an essential part of the asset management business and is a consistent earner with a stock that's up 120% over there past three years.
MSCI is also aggressively buying back stock and delivered solid 6.1% revenue growth this quarter.
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