If interest rates and oil prices are up, then the stock market will likely be up too, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. But that doesn't mean that earnings won't matter, Cramer said, as he laid out his game plan for next week's market action.
For Tuesday, it will be T-Mobile (TMUS) , Diamondback Energy (FANG) and insurance giant AIG (AIG) in the earnings spotlight. Cramer said Diamondback will work for a trade, but he'd buy T-Mobile and AIG -- the former on any profit-taking.
Wednesday brings more earnings from Pepsico (PEP) , a Cramer fav, along with Applied Materials (AMAT) , Analog Devices (ADI) , Cisco Systems (CSCO) and CBS (CBS) . Cramer was a fan of all of these names, with the exception of Cisco, which disappointed on earnings last quarter.
Finally on Friday, Campbell Soup (CPB) reports, but Cramer said he remains confused as to the direction for this food stock. He was bullish on John Deere (DE) and JM Smucker (SJM) , but not so much for apparel maker VF Corp (VFC) , a stock he said there is no case to own.
Speculation Friday: Kratos Defense Solutions
For "Speculation Friday," Cramer highlighted Kratos Defense Solutions (KTOS) , a small defense contractor that had been in the doghouse for years, but has now caught fire with shares tripling over the past 12 months.
Cramer said that Kratos is in the defense sweet spot. The company is big enough to benefit from increased defense spending under Trump but is too small to become targets as both Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) have.
Kratos makes a host of military products including unmanned systems, wireless and radar systems as well as cyber-security and combat systems. Shares of the company have been mired in the single digits for years because of a few ill-timed acquisitions.
But, Cramer said, Kratos recently has cleaned up its balance sheet and now has only $445 million in long-term debt. The company has also raised cash through a successful secondary offering in November, a deal that's up 40% thus far.
With shares of Kratos catching fire, Cramer cautioned that he would not chase the stock higher, but would be a buyer on any significant weakness.
Opportunities for Harley-Davidson
Can government protection actually hurt American companies more than it helps? That was the question Cramer posited as he examined what, if anything, Donald Trump could do to help the likes of Harley Davidson (HOG) .
Trump recently met with Harley's leadership in what was deemed a "listening session," but Cramer noted that while both Harley and rival Polaris Industries (PII) , owners of the Indian motorcycle brand, saw sales revenue decline last quarter, it wasn't because of foreign competition.
In fact, despite currency tailwinds, Japanese motorcycle makers fared worse than Harley and Polaris last quarter. It turns out that younger Americans just don't seem to be as enamored with motorcycles as older generations.
That means that for Harley and Polaris, their biggest opportunities are overseas, where Trump's trade tariffs could do more harm than good.
Executive Decision: Taser International
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Rick Smith, co-founder and CEO of Taser International (TASR) , makers of non-lethal weapons and evidence management systems. Shares of Taser have been strong, up 12% so far in 2017 and up more than 76% over the past 12 months.
Smith said that Taser's two recent acquisitions are about adding artificial intelligence to their platform to help analyze the petabytes of video evidence footage Taser cameras are collecting. He said police officers today spend much of their time typing up reports, which is why Taser aims to have reports recorded and transcribed, so officers can get back to their jobs.
When asked about their platform, Smith said that of the big cities that use body cameras, 85% have chosen Taser and the majority of those use his company's complete platform. Smith said research shows that using body cameras decreases complaints about police by 93% and increases the number of guilty pleas by 20%.
Cramer and the AAP team explain what Arconic's duel with activists means to shareholders. Find out what they are telling their investment club members with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer cautioned investors who are tempted to buy the beaten-down retail and apparel stocks that the forces conspiring against brick-and-mortar retail are numerous, powerful and aren't going away.
Cramer said when it comes to retail, traffic is the name of the game. If people aren't coming to your store, they aren't buying. But as we've seen from countless earnings reports this quarter, people aren't going out, they're staying in.
Meanwhile, on Real Money, Cramer asks why people are dumping these stocks: Amazon, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and IBM (IBM) . These companies -- and their investors -- deserve better, he says. Check out Cramer's strategies with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
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