If CNBC's Jim Cramer had to choose one word to define this stock market, it would be "challenging."
"Challenging, as in stocks can be up right from the get-go, then we give up the ghost, then the averages come roaring back, except we do it with fewer stocks rallying and many names left behind," the "Mad Money" host said on Friday.
"Welcome to the post-highs market where there are simply too many headwinds swirling, from rising raw costs ... to the West Wing revolving door to failed takeovers and suddenly unhelpful government intervention," he continued.
But even with all of the negatives, Cramer knew one thing for certain: the earnings are strong and full of upside surprises, and that's what's keeping the market from tanking.
With that in mind, the "Mad Money" host turned to his weekly game plan: