If there’s one thing Jim Cramer will be doing a lot of next week, it will be listening.
The “Mad Money” host plans to listen to several earnings announcements, as well as various industry conferences — both of which can significantly move stocks.
To start, Cramer looks forward to Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference, an enterprise technology and cloud computing event, which will take place Sept. 18 - 21 in San Francisco. Cramer thinks the conference will likely move the stock, but how will he play it?
“On Monday, I would buy deep-in-the-money call options on Salesforce,” Cramer said. “The November 140 calls look good, trading at $20 with the stock at $156, and bet on some levitation as the hoopla of the cloud takes over.”
Cramer likes this particular options contract because even if the Dreamforce conference doesn’t produce a pop, the timing of the contract allows time for the story to play out.
“We are now in the seasonally strongest period of the year for tech and this contract will let you play a high volatility tech stock right through it,” Cramer added. “[Also] Salesforce reports the day of that option’s expiration, and you sure as heck want a call to the upside on this one.”
Here’s a day-by-day look at the rest of Cramer’s “Game Plan.”
TUESDAY, SEPT. 18
Cramer thinks AFC Enterprises is worth speculating on ahead of its analyst day on Tuesday.
AFC, the holding company for the Popeye’s chain of restaurants, has produced consistent growth lately. Last quarter, it reported strong quarterly results, causing its stock to push higher. In turn, Cramer thinks AFC’s stock could pop again when company executives share the company’s story Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Cramer plans to monitor earnings announcements from both Federal Express and Manchester United.
(Related: 5 Stocks Set for Solid Earnings.)
FedEx, the global package delivery company, recently pre-announced a disappointing quarter. While its stock dropped on the news, it has since bounced back. If FedEx reiterates its bearishness, though, Cramer fears its stock could tumble again. Even so, Cramer said FDX is a buy on weakness because “it’s too high quality for that discount to last.”
Manchester United, Britain’s popular soccer team, will report its first quarter as a publicly traded company. Cramer isn’t expecting too much, though. He thinks MANU is “wildly overvalued” and too risky, making it a “sell, sell, sell!”
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19
The Deutsche Bank Energy Conference and UBS Global Life Sciences Conference will draw Cramer’s attention Wednesday.
At these conferences, it’s important to hear from the individual companies, but Cramer also likes to gauge interest in each meeting. Cramer reported that the truck manufacturers and parts makers meetings are rumored to draw the most attention this year. That said, Cramer reminded his viewers that he likes Eaton, which does make some truck parts.
(Read More: 2 'Terrific' Buying Opportunities.)
Elsewhere in the market, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ascena Retail Group are scheduled to report earnings.
Ascena operates dressbarn, a women’s clothing retailer. The company just bought Charming Shoppes, too. Cramer expects to hear things are integrating nicely, which would cause its stock to push higher.
Bed Bath & Beyond is going to be “tricky,” Cramer said. Its results last quarter sent the stock sharply lower, so Cramer suggests playing BBY through call options.
“The contract I like would be the September 65 calls for roughly $5. If Bed Bath delivers, that stock could go back to its old high of $74 and change,” Cramer said. “If it doesn’t, the stock will most likely give up a lot of the hard fought gain back to $70.”
THURSDAY, SEPT. 20
Thursday brings earnings reports from Oracle and Tibco, both of which Cramer likes going into the quarter.
“Both software stocks have performed fabulously of late,” Cramer said. “Both have reported good quarters all year, but only recently — in this more friendly environment — has the stock actually moved higher.”
FRIDAY, SEPT. 21
Restaurant operator Darden Restaurants will report earnings Friday. To Cramer, Darden is “one of the oddest stories out there.”
“The last quarter and the quarter before that were really nothing to write home about, but the stock’s been a horse in a large part because of its big dividend, which made it an ideal ‘pay to wait’ name,” Cramer said. “I fear owning Darden into the quarter, though, if only because now the yield’s only 3.65 percent courtesy of the recent advance and I don’t the company’s going to blow away the numbers.”
Finally, KB Home is scheduled to report earnings. Last spring, it reported a disappointing number that Cramer says “almost stopped the housing stock recovery in its tracks.” He doesn’t think KB will say anything Friday that will justify the recent run in its stock, so he recommends investors use caution.
Read on for Cramer's Top Dividend Stocks 2012
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