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We don't want stocks too hot as we enter earnings season, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. Right now, what the market needs is more negativity.

Earnings are all about the "setup," or the narrative being talked about just ahead of earnings season, Cramer explained. The setup this quarter has been all about Donald Trump's tax cuts and deregulation plans. But deregulation might take longer than some investors think, and that's bad news for the banks that are starting to fade as interest rates peak, at least for the short term.

Then there's health care, a sector bolstered Monday by Ariad Pharmaceuticals' (ARIA) $5 billion bid that took shares up 72%. Cramer said this sector needs to have its enthusiasm tempered. With crude oil falling by 4% today, the oil stocks are also vulnerable for a pullback, Cramer noted.

Even in the tech sector, where Apple (AAPL - Get Report) , an Action Alerts PLUS holding, caught an analyst upgrade, Cramer urged caution. "Don't get too excited," he warned.

Perhaps the only stocks Cramer was bullish about today were Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report) and Coca-Cola (KO - Get Report) , both of which saw shares fall on an analyst downgrade. Cramer said he still likes the dividend yield and the longer-term outlook for both companies.

Beyond Dow 20K

Can the Dow Jones Industrial Average really hit 20,000? Cramer said that's the wrong question to be asking. The right question is, "Can the Dow move beyond 20,000?"

There are 12 stocks that are well off their all-time highs, Cramer said, and he looked into which ones have a shot at regaining their former glory. He said that it's difficult to see how Walmart (WMT - Get Report) could rise 30% to its all-time highs, but American Express (AXP - Get Report) could vault 27% on multiple expansion alone. Meanwhile, it's questionable that IBM (IBM - Get Report) , Nike (NKE - Get Report) or Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) have a clear path to their former highs.

Cramer was also not betting on either Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) or Chevron (CVX - Get Report) hitting highs given the direction of crude prices, and he didn't feel that Coca-Cola could rally in the short term either.

Cramer was bullish on Apple, however, and said that Cisco Systems (CSCO - Get Report) , another Action Alerts PLUS name, could rally if it reports a good quarter. He was also upbeat on Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report)  but said United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) has given about all it can.

The good news, Cramer concluded, is that all of these stocks have been at their highs before. But that doesn't mean there's a clear path for them to get back there now.

Pets Are Big Business

The importance of pets and the companies that cater to them highlights today's takeover bid for animal health provider VCA (WOOF)  , whose shares popped over 28%, Cramer told viewers.

There are nearly 78 million dogs and 85 million cats in America, Cramer explained, and spending on their needs only continues to rise. Animal health is an all-cash business and there are only a handful of large companies for investors to invest in.

Among the group, Cramer said he's still a fan of Idexx Laboratories (IDXX - Get Report) , along with Zoetis (ZTS - Get Report) and even Henry Schein (HSIC - Get Report) .

Cramer said he would avoid the pet food companies, however, as Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) is eating into the profits of companies including Blue Buffalo (BUFF) and FreshPet (FRPT - Get Report) .

Executive Decision: Alex Molinaroli

For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Alex Molinaroli, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls (JCI - Get Report) , a company that no longer bills itself as an automotive parts company.

Molinaroli said his company's remaining businesses, which include building controls, fire alarms and security systems and the interconnecting of those systems, are all very exciting end markets.

When asked about automation in commercial buildings, Molinaroli said there are a lot of possibilities out there and Johnson Controls is listening to its customers to find out exactly what kinds of systems they need.

Turning to the topic of electric cars, Molinaroli said that while Johnson Controls still makes automotive batteries, electric cars are still a "ways off" from becoming a mainstream technology.

Lightning Round

In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on EQT Midstream Partners (EQM - Get Report) , Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP - Get Report) , Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report) , GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) , Stag Industrial (STAG - Get Report) , Digital Realty Trust (DLR - Get Report) and Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT - Get Report) .

Cramer was bearish on Basic Energy Services (BAS - Get Report) , Chemours (CC - Get Report) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS - Get Report) .

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer looked into the other half of Johnson Controls, Adient (ADNT - Get Report) , the automative seating company that was spun off by Johnson just two months ago.

Shares of Adient have rallied 19% since its initial public offering. The company is a best-of-breed operator with 34% market share here in the U.S. and has a diversified portfolio of customers. The company is also a leader in China, which currently accounts for 32% of revenue.

Cramer said there are a lot of ways Adient can grow and the company has plenty of opportunities to boost margins by cutting costs.

So why do shares trade for just six times earnings? Cramer said he can't figure out why because the potential positives are not baked into the share price.

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

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, CSCO, MMP and SLB.