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If investors only paid attention to the aggregate data released by the government, CNBC's Jim Cramer would imagine they'd be huge pessimists about the state of the economy.
"This morning we got retail sales numbers that were baffling. They were for the month of August and they fell by 0.2 percent. That's very subpar. Then the Federal Reserve issued an industrial production number that was clearly wanting. It was a 0.9 percent dip," the "Mad Money" host said. "But I've got to ask you a question: do these numbers really tell you the whole story?"
Instead, Cramer turned to business leaders for a more intimate take on the economy. Brad Jacobs, the CEO of XPO Logistics, told Cramer on Thursday that "industrial economy's back" and on the path to recovery.
Caterpillar, a massive manufacturer, announced earlier this week that the economic cycle was picking up, touting its global orders and climbing stock.
Other executives also said that both the industrial and retail sectors are accelerating, bucking the government's statistics that suggest they're more tepid.
"People remain endlessly skeptical that anything good can happen industrially both here [and] around the world. Yet Brixmor, Eaton, XPO Logistics, Caterpillar and United Technologies – a pretty diverse group – paint a very positive picture of what's really going on here," Cramer said. "So don't be baffled by the national retail sales or industrial production numbers. Be skeptical of them. There's a much better story out there if you just bother to look under the hood."
As the major averages hit all-time highs on Friday, Cramer worried that investors would take the gains in stride and forget about the market's vulnerability.
"It lulls you into believing that this market just can't possibly be hammered," the "Mad Money" host said. "Those are often the most dangerous of times."
And while he didn't want to fearmonger, Cramer pointed out that positive streaks like this are highly unusual, even though economic factors including inflation, growth and earnings are generally in the market's favor.
"I'm urging you: first, don't get cocky. Second, don't load up on leverage. Don't use margin. Third, don't speculate with more than 10 percent of your money. That's fine, 10 percent. Fourth, have a diversified portfolio. And fifth, please don't feel guilty about taking profits while you still have them," Cramer said. "No one ever got hurt taking a profit."
With that in mind, Cramer went over the stocks and events he'll watch this week.
The deal would combine the spun-off CBS Radio with Entercom, creating an entity that could reshape the U.S. radio industry. Entercom's stock surged over 10 percent when news of the deal broke in February, but it has since sold off, shedding almost $6.
"Clearly the market isn't as enthusiastic for this big radio tie-up as we first thought. But what if the market is misreading this CBS Radio deal?" Cramer said. "It's a complex transaction. I think the negative sentiment here is giving you a fabulous buying opportunity."
Tom Maas didn't know just how well his self-blended rum drink would be received on social media when he created RumChata.
"I didn't know what Facebook was to start. I was the first like on my own," Maas told Cramer on Friday.
Now, Maas, the CEO and master blender of privately-held liquor maker Agave Loco, has made RumChata the No. 1 liquor brand on social media.
RumChata, a blend of rum and horchata, a sweet, creamy drink that's popular in Mexico, gets over 2 million views per video on its YouTube channel.
Views on the videos, which are often of drink recipes that use RumChata, now total 30 million, roughly 8 million more than its closest rival, Maas said.
In Cramer's lightning round, he zoomed through his take on some callers' favorite stocks:
Chesapeake Energy Corporation: "Chesapeake's too much natural gas and there's too much natural gas in the whole country right now. There's just no place to put the darned stuff. That said, it's inexpensive, but there's just not enough storage."