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Cramer Remix: Bitcoin has taken away the luster of gold

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer weighed in on how gold could be trumped by bitcoin in the market.
  • Cramer also sat down with Stanley Bergman, the venerated CEO of Henry Schein, for an update on how tax reform might affect his giant health care company.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer explained why IBM's stock could run higher from here.

As concerned as CNBC's Jim Cramer is about bitcoin's parabolic rise, he said the insanely popular cryptocurrency has stolen some of gold's shine.

"This whole thing that is bitcoin, bitcoin going up, it has really taken away the luster of gold," the "Mad Money" host told a caller in a fireside chat on Friday's show. "Gold has kind of lost its moment here."

But as tempting as bitcoin might be, Cramer still backed gold as the best way to hedge against political uncertainty, rising volatility and the potential of a market correction.

"I think up to 10 percent of your portfolio should be gold" to protect against potential catastrophe, Cramer said, adding that if investors feel comfortable owning physical gold rather than equities, he'd prefer the hard stuff.

Cramer's game plan: The political roller-coaster

Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn departs U.S. District Court, where he was expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn departs U.S. District Court, where he was expected to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States, in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017.

Funny as it sounds, Cramer likes to use these moments of "schizophrenic" market madness to hunt for stocks on sale. After all, there's always a bull market somewhere.

"We have to start our game plan for next week with an acknowledgement that we could be on a real Washington roller-coaster, one that's reminiscent of the old days when politics influenced investing in a negative way," Cramer said.

With an investigation into the White House's correspondence with Russia finally bearing fruit and a tax bill on the cusp of passing, Cramer turned to the stocks and events on his radar next week.

"Lets face it: while many companies are genuinely impacted by what happens in Washington, plenty have nothing to do with the government at all, and those were the best opportunities," he said.

Find the opportunities

President Donald Trump at the White House on December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images
President Donald Trump at the White House on December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Cramer urged investors to keep their cool on Friday as stocks fell following reports that President Donald Trump's former national security adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

"I never dismiss the big picture," the "Mad Money" host said. "Through all of the Dow 24,000 hubbub, the sturm und drang surrounding the Senate tax reform bill and the pearl-clutching about the latest revelations from the Russia probe, let's not forget that there are real companies doing real things, and they matter."

To prove that declines like this actually provide ample investing opportunities, Cramer called attention to the stocks of VMware and Nutanix, two cloud companies that reported huge earnings beats on Thursday.

Whiskey winner

Whiskey poured into a glass
Getty Images
Whiskey poured into a glass

On a wild day for the markets, Cramer wanted to take a step back and focus on an under-the-radar name to help investors unwind.

"Of course, the trouble with under-the-radar [stocks] is that sometimes you're too late to the party and it's already been discovered, so you need to walk away," he said. "Still, I like to keep my eyes peeled for these stealth bull market stories, just in case we haven't missed the boat."

So Cramer turned to MGP Ingredients, a Kansas-based distillery that makes whiskey, bourbon, gin, vodka, food-grade industrial alcohol and specialty wheat proteins that go into packaged foods.

While the name might sound unfamiliar, MGP Ingredients is the largest supplier of rye whiskey and distilled gin in the United States and is the powerhouse behind smaller brands like Angel's Envy, Redemption Rye and Filibuster.

Henry Schein CEO: Driving efficiency

After a slightly weaker-than-expected quarterly report and subsequent stock decline for Henry Schein, venerated Chairman and CEO Stanley Bergman told Cramer why the company was so candid in its conference call.

"We wanted to point out the variances in the quarter, but we also wanted to point out that we're working very hard to continue to drive efficiency in the business, advance product mix to higher margin products, advance our solutions, whether it's practice management solutions or other kinds of solutions, to help dentists, veterinarians and physicians operate a more efficient practice so that they can provide better quality care," Bergman said on Friday.

Bergman's health care company is the largest distributor of dental and veterinary products in the world, generating between $650 million to $700 million in cash every year.

And if Congress passes corporate tax reform, that cash horde will likely grow, Bergman said.

"We will be able to put that money to work very effectively, both in buying back stock, investing in the business and, of course, making acquisitions," the CEO told Cramer.

Lightning Round: Hope for IBM?

In Cramer's lightning round, he zoomed through his take on some callers' favorite stocks:

IBM: "I think IBM is trying to bottom here. I think you've got Warren Buffett out there selling it. I think it's a breakout quarter because they're going to shift to new mainframes."

Workday: "I actually liked the quarter. Did it deserve to sell off like this? Eh, you know what? All the high-multiple tech stocks are selling off. But I think if you had to start a position, I would start it right here."

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