The July jobs report released on Aug. 6 will matter more than any company's quarterly earnings, Cramer said on Friday's Mad Money.
"We can get all the positive earnings you ever dreamed of," he said. "But if we get a disappointment on Friday, you can kiss your gains goodbye."
The consensus on Wall Street for the July report puts the unemployment rate at 9.6%, Cramer said, with nonfarm payrolls down 60,000 and an increase of 100,000 jobs in the private sector. While he doesn't expect the jobs report will beat the Street's expectations, he is keeping in mind that a disappointing number could cancel out any gains.
With that omen hanging over the week ahead, here are earnings reports to watch:
The week begins with two of Cramer's favorite wireless tower plays, SBA Communications after Monday’s closing bell and American Tower on Tuesday morning. He has high expectations for these stocks not only because they're "key parts of the mobile Internet tsunami," but also because Verizon , AT&T , Sprint and Crown Castle all recently reported strong earnings.
In the consumer-staples space, bellwether Procter & Gamble will report after the close Tuesday. Earlier this week, Cramer talked about rotating into more defensive soft-goods plays, but that rotation ended Thursday when both Colgate and Kellogg disappointed. Many worried about pricing and volume trends amidst increasing competition, so Cramer will be watching to see how Procter & Gamble addresses these issues. The Mad Money host also is interested in its plan to offer more products and expand into emerging markets.
Lear , an automotive seat maker, also reports its quarter Tuesday. With Ford Motor‘s "knock-out" quarter last week, Cramer thinks Lear could work as a speculative play because it gets 40% of its business from Ford and General Motors. Where production was down during the recession, the Southfield, Miss.-based company and other auto suppliers are now benefiting from a "big replacement cycle." In this space, Cramer also recommended looking at earnings from TRW Automotive Holdings , which reports on Wednesday and Magna International on Friday.
Cramer will also give attention to high-end retailers, like Coach and True Religion , which both report earnings Tuesday, and Ralph Lauren , reporting Wednesday. After a disappointing consumer-confidence number that kept retail down, Cramer thinks these earnings reports will indicate how the luxury brands are doing. Meanwhile, Whole Foods will hint at how the high-end grocery shopper is faring when it reports earnings Tuesday as well. Cramer thinks Whole Foods will report a strong quarter that shows a "bull market in healthy eating.”
On Thursday, Fuel Systems Solutions will provide its quarterly earnings results. The company makes parts for natural-gas vehicles, and with a scaled-down version of the energy bill pending in the US Senate, Cramer thinks this could be a good speculative play. He's also interested in hearing from other nat-gas plays reporting next week, including National Fuel Gas , EOG Resources , Devon, and Sandridge Energy .
The Mad Money host is also looking forward to hearing what the exchanges have to say with NYSE Euronext reporting on Tuesday, Intercontinental Exchange on Wednesday and the Chicago Board Options Exchange on Thursday. With financial regulatory reform now law, Cramer thinks these names benefit from the greater transparency it requires.
"But remember it will all come down to the labor report on Friday," Cramer said. "That's make or break."
When this post was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Procter & Gamble.
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