This market just can't seem to make up its mind, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday, as he laid out his game plan for next week's action. On one hand, we've got the best employment numbers in 40 years, but on the other, housing, autos, oils and retail are all slipping.
Cramer said he's starting the week watching for the latest read on durable goods orders, which will likely be bad. But he's also on the lookout for Schnitzer Steel (SCHN) , which popped 6.9% today on a promised executive action against illegal dumping. Cramer expects more positive action in the steels to come.
Wednesday brings earnings from General Mills (GIS) , which will likely be disappointing, Paychex (PAYX) , which will likely be good, and an analyst meeting from Cisco Systems (CSCO) , which needs to show investors it still has more growth ahead.
Then on Thursday, Constellation Brands (STZ) reports, and as we learned yesterday, this is Cramer's favorite liquor stock. Also on Thursday, earnings from Nike (NKE) , a battleground Cramer said he's steering clear of, and Micron Technology (MU) , which will likely fall no matter how good its quarter.
Finally, Friday is the end of the quarter, which means more market gyrations will be likely.
On Real Money, Cramer has more on these delayed -- and welcome -- reactions to strong profit reports. Get more of his insights and a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Shares of Athena Health (ATHN) are up 37% in just over a month. Is there still more room to run?
Cramer said for years Athena had been a fast-growing stock, but as the company transitioned from growth to profitability, things began to get ugly. The company's bombastic CEO, and his "colorful" personality began to rub shareholders the wrong way.
Having an outgoing CEO works for T-Mobile (TMUS) , Cramer said, but it's not something you want in a healthcare services firm that is struggling to deliver on the bottom line.
That's why the activist firm Elliott Management took a 9.2% stake in Athena earlier this year. The firm said there are plenty of opportunities for Athena, and is pushing for either new management or a sale of the company.
Cramer said it's too risky to speculate on a buyout and the easy money has already been made in Athena. If shares see a meaningful decline however, they might become attractive.
BBBY: All Wet
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) took a bath today, Cramer told viewers, and is likely beyond hope.
The home-goods retailer posted a huge earnings miss, delivering just 53 cents a share when the analysts were expecting 66 cents a share. Making matters worse, the company also saw a 2% decline in same-store sales.
It seems the better Bed Bath does online, the more it cannibalizes foot traffic in its stores. The company's free shipping offer over $29 is also a double-edge sword, as customers below $29 turn to Amazon (AMZN) and orders over $29 see a big hit to profits with free shipping applied.
Bed Bath just can't seem to win, Cramer said. The company bought back over 62 million shares of its own stock, at much higher prices, a move that has done nothing for shareholders.
Unless the company can offer shoppers something truly different, sales will continue to decline, Cramer concluded, which makes the stock uninvestable for the foreseeable future.
Cramer and the AAP team say Southwest (LUV) is the best airline. Warren Buffett's ownership is an added bonus. Get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
Executive Decision: Federal Realty Trust
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again sat down with Don Wood, president and CEO of Federal Realty Trust (FRT) , the shopping center REIT with shares down 12% for 2017, but have a 3.1% dividend yield.
Wood admitted that these are challenging times for retail, but he said that doesn't mean that every bit of bad retail news should be hitting the retail REITs. Just 8% of Federal Realty's portfolio is grocery, Wood said. Nine percent is full-price retail, 6% are discount retailers, while another 6% are office spaces. You simply won't find a more diversified portfolio.
Despite the retail malaise, Federal Realty's earnings are only expected to grow, along with its dividend. The company also has a solid balance sheet.
But most important, Wood said that Federal Realty has strong properties, and that gives them the most options and flexibility. Sure, they've lowered rents from time to time, he said, but overall, rents were up 36% over the past few months.
Cramer said that Wood has always delivered and he's sticking with the stock.
Executive Decision: Entergy
In another "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer welcomed back Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy (ETR) , the utility with both growth and a 4.4% yield.
Denault said that Entergy continues to invest in new power plants, more distribution lines and better technology while simultaneously divesting in its low-margin wholesale operations, where margins continue to get squeezed from falling natural gas prices.
When asked about the demand for power in their service area, Denault said that residential continues to see slowing as trends like energy efficient homes and light bulbs put a damper on growth. Similar trends are occurring in the commercial power market.
Finally, when asked about Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Denault said that the decision is unlikely to change any of Entergy's plans over the short or long term.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Nutanix (NTNX) , Reynolds American (RAI) , Ulta Beauty (ULTA) , AGCO (AGCO) , KeyCorp (KEY) , Broadcom (AVGO) , Proofpoint (PFPT) and Mondelez International (MDLZ) .
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