Next week's game plan is all about the Federal Reserve, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday. After today's strong employment numbers however, Cramer said he's rooting for an interest rate hike -- which would benefit the financials -- and a rally isn't a rally unless the banks are a part of it.
Thursday arrives with earnings from Adobe Systems (ADBE - Get Report) , a stock with a history of selling off on good news. Cramer said that's your chance to buy. Also on Thursday is Dollar General (DG - Get Report) , which needs to lay out its case against Trump's proposed border tax.
Finally on Friday, Tiffany (TIF - Get Report) reports, and Cramer is betting on positive news now that the company has an activist involved. He was also bullish on Amgen's (AMGN - Get Report) analyst meeting, saying investors should use any market weakness earlier in the week to buy.
Executive Decision: LendingTree
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Doug Lebda, founder, chairman and CEO of LendingTree (TREE - Get Report) , a stock that's up 17% for the year after the company reported blowout earnings two weeks ago.
Lebda first responded to questions about his company's very successful stock buyback program by saying that it was a smart decision at a smart time and he remains committed to his shareholders.
Lebda continued by painting a bullish picture for mortgage lending this year, with refinance activity outpacing new loan origination. He said he expects home equity loans to double or even triple as homes increase in value. He was also upbeat on credit card activity -- consumers love saving money on interest rates and fees.
When asked about competition, Lebda said LendingTree has successfully fought off its competition for years.
Finally, when asked about Trump, Lebda said he likes Trump's economic policies so far, he just wishes the President would stop talking.
Meanwhile, on Real Money, Cramer asks what if the stocks of the industrials turn out to be cheaper than we think? Check out his strategies with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
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Accounting Issues: Sell?
Last week, the markets received some jarring news from Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report) , as federal agents went to the company's headquarters as part of a tax investigation. The stock has since fallen form near $100 a share to just $92, but Cramer said that plunge might not be entirely deserved.
To be clear, Cramer said, accounting issues equal sell. But in this case, he may be willing to make an exception. Cat is a cyclical company and this is exactly the point in the cycle when it makes sense to buy.
At issue is Caterpillar's overseas tax procedures, one of those tax avoidance "gray areas." But Cramer noted that despite a lengthy investigation, no charges have been filed and the company's share price has fallen twice the amount of any likely fines by the IRS.
With Caterpillar's business starting to show signs of life for the first time in years, Cramer said he's willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt.
Executive Decision: United Technologies
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also checked in with Greg Hayes, chairman and CEO of United Technologies (UTX - Get Report) , as the company held its annual analyst day and reiterated its bullish forecast.
Hayes painted a rosy picture of the U.S. economy, saying that spending is increasing, sentiment is up and the U.S. is near full employment. All of that translates into strong sales for United Technologies, with HVAC sales, elevator sales and aerospace all solidly in the green.
When asked about his relationship with Trump, Hayes said that this administration is reaching out to business in ways the last one didn't and it's great to have your voice heard by the White House.
Hayes said that tax reform remains a No. 1 priority and he's confident that after health-care reforms, tax reform will get addressed.
Hayes noted that United Technologies has $6 billion overseas and if given the opportunity to repatriate that money, he'd make additional investments in the business and return some to shareholders in the form of dividends and stock buybacks.
Cramer concluded by saying there are lots of good things happening at United Technologies.
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer proclaimed that the dreaded inflation point in mall-based retail is upon us: Retailer after retailer has decided the best way to make money is ... to close stores.
With perhaps the exception of Foot Locker (FL - Get Report) and Children's Place (PLCE - Get Report) , mall-based retailers are shuttering stores at a blinding pace. Mall traffic for February fell 10% year-over-year -- a stunning decline that the industry simply cannot recover from.
Cramer said only Urban Outfitters (URBN - Get Report) CEO Richard Hayne told it like it is this quarter, admitting that his industry overbuilt in the 1990s and 2000s and now America has six times the retail square footage per capita than Japan.
Make no mistake, Cramer concluded, this is a monster crisis that should keep investors away from all mall-based retail for the foreseeable future.
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