Over the many years Jim Cramer has been involved with the stock market, he has seen the same sophomoric strategy over and over again this time of year: investors sell in September to avoid the treachery of October.
"But given that we are on track to have the best October in four years…maybe investors will think twice before they put their brains and portfolios on month-by-month autopilot," the "Mad Money" host said.
Next week is one of four weeks that Cramer says there are way too many companies that report. It will be a terrible time to make snap judgments, or it could crush your portfolio. That means after a company reports, wait to hear the conference call.
In Cramer's experience, an earnings release and simple headlines prove to be right only 50 percent of the time. So, it is important to do the homework.
With that in mind, Cramer outlined the stocks and events he will be watching next week.
Tuesday: United Technologies, Verizon, Chipotle
Chipotle: Lately, the stock has pulled back, but Cramer thinks this could be just profit taking. He recommended using deep-in-the-money call options to bet on this stock going into the quarter.
Thursday: 3M, Eli Lilly, Alphabet, Amazon, Microsoft, Caterpillar, McDonald's
This will be a hideous day for Cramer, and he's not looking forward to it. In fact, he thinks it will be absolutely miserable!
"It seems like everybody who hasn't yet reported decides to do it that session," he said.
McDonald's: Will it pull off something big? Cramer thinks CEO Steve Easterbrook has this company on a long-term turnaround, but it might be safer to wait and see what it has in store after the magnificent run the stock has had.
Even though energy prices have stalled lately, Cramer is still on the hunt for interesting plays. In fact, while the group has been taking a breather, Cramer thinks this is a terrific opportunity to do some buying.
"Given that, I expect the energy cohort to move higher, maybe even a lot higher over the long term because so much capacity is being shut down as producers run out of money to drill," the "Mad Money" host said.
The energy space can be very treacherous, especially since many companies could be in major trouble if there is another leg down in oil prices. Cramer was extremely careful when picking energy equities, because it is best to own only the highest quality companies that will let him sleep at night.
That is why Cramer turned to the tanker business, specifically Nordic American Tanker. In the past year it is up more than 100 percent, even as the energy sector struggled.
Cramer based this judgment on the fact that the fundamentals of the tanker industry are looking solid right now, and he thinks they will stay that way for a long time. He specifically chose Nordic American because it has juicy yield of 9.7 percent, and he considers its balance sheet to be about the best in the industry.
With cheap gasoline putting more money into consumer pockets, one would think that the timeshare business would do well right now. However, when Marriott Vacations reported on Thursday, the stock was annihilated.
Marriott Vacations is the leading purveyor of upscale timeshares, and it lost more than 15 percent of its value in a single session. It reported lower-than-expected revenues, but raised its full-year earnings guidance.
Cramer thinks much of the weakness could be due to the strength of the U.S. dollar crimping the company's international sales, and Wall Street could have overreacted with this sell-off.
Could it be possible that Marriott Vacations is now an intriguing value play? To find out more, Cramer spoke with CEO Steve Weisz.
"We were mystified yesterday when we saw what I would characterize as a huge overreaction to a couple of metrics that we report out on a regular basis…so, we are scratching our head just as much as you are about exactly why it happened," Weisz said.
Cramer has been saying for days that he thinks the market is overbought. He saw evidence of this on Thursday when investors scavenged for whatever growth stocks they could find, which was why there was aggressive buying of biotechs and fast-rising technology stocks.
On day two of the slowdown, investors bought staples. Those are the companies that wouldn't miss numbers even if the economy slows down. They have lower risk, even though they may have less reward. Cramer likes to call them the "chicken growth stocks."
Often Cramer sees random or stupid moves and he thinks the market is irrational. But the kind of stock rotation Cramer has seen these past few days is something completely different. This is more of a seasoned playbook rotation that works the same way every time, like clockwork, because of the mindset of big money managers.
"In a slowdown, we'll get a decline in interest rates. Unlike those high-risk, high-reward growth stocks the nimble traders loaded up on yesterday, these consumer staple companies have sky-high dividends that give you a much better yield than the bond-market competition," Cramer explained.
Another trick that Cramer likes to remember is to keep an eye out for up-and-coming privately held companies with disruptive technologies that could transform their industries.
Olo is a software platform for restaurant chains that allow customers to use their phones to place takeout orders and pay ahead of time, letting users skip the line once they arrive at the restaurant. It already has some major customers, including Chipotle, Wingstop, Baskin Robbins, Jamba Juice and more. It is now the fastest growing digital ordering provider in the industry.
Last month Olo rolled out a new offering called Dispatch, a delivery platform for large restaurant chains. One unique function is that it provides a list of multiple couriers with a range of prices and delivery times that allow customers to pick the best option.
To learn more Cramer spoke with the the founder and CEO of Olo, Noah Glass.
"I wanted to skip the line in my local coffee shop, and I thought it would be great if I could use this device in my pocket to order ahead, to pay ahead. They can make the order when I was on my way there and by the time I arrived, it would be ready and waiting for me," Glass said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller-favorite stocks:
FireEye: "I think that FireEye has come down too much to not want to buy. It was recommended today by a firm, and I think the numbers are good there. Palo Alto is not cheap; FireEye is, relatively."
Navigator Holdings Ltd: "The problem is that this trades on the number of boats that are built. There are too many being built, and I would not want to own that stock."