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But times have changed. Now, the "Mad Money " host sees traders fleeing to the FANG stocks, Cramer's acronym for Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, now Alphabet when their favorite sectors go awry.
"Look, it's highly unusual for non-dividend paying, high-multiple stocks to be the lovey blanket of safety that these FANG names have actually become in our market. But, you see, their growth has nothing to do with the economy," Cramer said. "FANG is driven by a global secular trend that's not going away any time soon."
Rather than offering reliably "safe" products like cereal or facial tissues, companies like Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook are the beacons of both e-commerce and advertising, Cramer said.
Endlessly searching for ways to target specific types of consumers online, these companies offer ways for traders and investors to play new-age retail amid controversial health care policy change or weakness in the financial stocks.
"These have become the default stocks to buy when you get freaked out. Until something replaces them in terms of their commonality — which is the love of the consumer — I think it stays that way. The P&Gs and the Kimberly-Clarks used to be the international consumer stocks that you could gravitate to when health care or the banks broke down. Now? Now, you just get long FANG, " the "Mad Money" host said.
For Cramer, the stock market's major averages routinely hitting record highs is anything but humdrum.
"But as much as I love it when stocks go higher, I recognize that the market can only go up as much the earnings let it, and next week we get a parade of numbers that will determine this rally's fate," he said.
Cramer knows the market can only continue to surge higher if companies keep delivering strong earnings results, which makes next week pivotal.
After Hewlett Packard split into two companies, Dion Weisler, the president and CEO of the newly formed HP Inc., crystallized his computer and printing company's ultimate goals.
Printing alone sounded stale, but 3-D printing presented much larger opportunities in mass production, personalization and new-age manufacturing, Weisler told CNBC on Friday.
"This is why we got into the production side of 3-D printing. We weren't terribly interested in home-based printing," the CEO told Cramer in an exclusive interview. "We see this not as the $5 billion market it is today. We really want to disrupt a $12 trillion manufacturing industry."
Early on, HP Inc. launched 3-D printing technology for polymers, a material found in many plastics.
"We said we'd get into that business when we could disrupt it with speed, quality and cost, and we have that today," Weisler said.
With the semiconductor space on fire, up 35 percent for 2017 according to the Philadelphia semiconductor index, Cramer understands investors' desire to own chip stocks.
"At the moment, it feels like even a monkey with a dartboard could make a killing in the semis. That's how strong they've been. But this is also an inherently high-risk group," Cramer said. "The moment we get any meaningful signs of an economic downturn, you better believe these high-flying semiconductor stocks ... will lose some of their mojo."
With shares up almost 30 percent for the year, Texas Instruments makes chips that process speed, sound and voltage for power management and mobile phones' radio signals, among other applications. It also makes microcontrollers and wireless connectivity chips.
In Cramer's lightning round, he flew through his take on some callers' favorite stocks:
Square Inc.: "We almost caught a triple in Square. Remember, it was at $16. When it got to $12, I recommended it. Thank you, [CFO] Sarah Friar, for really helping me explain the story. She's brilliant. Now it's all the way up to $32 and it's not done. We are Square users at Bar San Miguel. That's full disclosure."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Facebook and Alphabet.