Investors deserve a break after the last five days of rolling bear markets.
U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the Dow ending in negative territory for the year and the S&P 500 posting its worst week since May 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 115.15 points, or 0.69 percent, and the S&P 500 lost 22.08 points, or 1.15 percent.
The good news is that Jim Cramer thinks we will get a break on Monday. Why? Because it's Columbus Day and he says companies know better than to say anything other than Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.
In order for things to really improve next week, Cramer thinks several situations bear watching over the weekend.
First, any sign that the stalemate over Ukraine between Germany and Russia is coming to an end would be good for the market. Second, more containment of the Ebola outbreaks would help ease concerns that have collapsed the travel and leisure stocks. Third, a stabilization of oil would allow the primary creator of jobs in this country to keep on hiring.
Unfortunately, without the relief of these three items, Cramer thinks the downturn of the markets will resume, hopefully with short bursts of positive earning reports. Even then, the reaction to Alcoa's positive earnings this week, it makes one wonder if that will happen.
To make sure investors have a clear picture of the week ahead, here's a list of what Cramer is watching, along with his best assessment of how to play the market in return.
Tuesday: Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, CSX and Intel
Citigroup: This is a bank that has a large international base and reported a terrific quarter last time. If they do it again, it may be hard for them to maintain these levels.
Wells Fargo: This is a company that will reflect the strength and weakness of the economy since it's all domestic. If we don't hear good news, then Cramer expects a big selloff in all of the other regional banks
JP Morgan: The bulls will need to hear two things: First an upbeat Jamie Dimon talking about a timetable to be back at his desk following his treatment for throat cancer; and second, that the bank has been able to profit from all of the volatility. That used to be JP Morgan's stock in trade.