If the US had been the bright spot in a blighted world economy, things changed Friday thanks to "that wretched employment number," Cramer said during Mad Money.
While Europe suffered a debt crisis and China's government is forcing an economic slowdown, the US had good economic data that "counteracted their negativity." But when the jobs report showed "no real job growth at all," the US lost its "bullish prop." And now, Cramer said, it doesn't have any more important US data to look forward to. To forge ahead, he recommended looking for two pieces of economic data coming out of Europe next week.
European Government Bond Auctions
Like US Treasurys, European countries sell bonds to finance their budgets. A few stronger countries are raising capital early this coming week, with Belgium on Monday and the Netherlands and Austria on Tuesday. Cramer said the "rubber hits the road" on Wednesday and Thursday when Spain and Portugal offer bonds.
"I don't know what prices these countries will have to pay to raise money, but I can tell you that if they have to pay through the roof for it, relative to other countries," Cramer said, "you will be glad that we have been advocating extreme caution on this show, especially on the good days here when you can take advantage of higher prices to lighten up" on your holdings.
Cramer also recommended keeping close watch over Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao . He said Santander's stock fell by nearly 10% Friday partly because of worries over its billions in Spanish bond holdings. These two banks will be an indicator as to how difficult it will be for Europe to dig itself out of this hole.
Can the Euro Hang in There?
It increasingly appears unlikely, Cramer said. Tim Collins, a highly regarded analyst on Wall Street, predicted two weeks ago that the euro would fall to 117 versus the dollar. Cramer said Collins now believes the euro will likely go lower still.
"I don't think I need to tell you anything more than a three-point fall in the euro will cast a further pall on those auctions," Cramer said.
How do you survive both these events intact? Stick with the most defensive strategy possible, Cramer said: Accidental high-yielders. And keep some cash on hand, as well as a little gold, and wait for lower, better stock prices.
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