What follows is “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer’s “Game Plan” for the week of Monday, Oct. 8.
MONDAY, OCT. 8
For Cramer, the week will begin with a look at German industrial production. On Monday, the Economy Ministry in Berlin will release its industrial output data for August.
“Nobody wants to see weak numbers. They mean economic pain and job loss,” Cramer said. “But the European cooperation [on the region’s sovereign debt crisis] began when pathetic data from poorer countries caught up with the richer countries and they realized that they aren't immune to the crisis.”
In other words, Cramer suggested that weak industrial production data from Germany means the country is more likely to solve Europe’s debt woes in a timely fashion.
TUESDAY, OCT. 9
Aluminum maker Alcoa will kick off the third-quarter earnings season when it reports after Tuesday’s closing bell.
“While the company’s operating surprisingly well, earnings will be hurt by a glut of high cost Chinese aluminum,” Cramer said. “The Chinese don’t want to shut down their dirty, polluting, expensive plants because it would involve huge layoffs. But they sell aluminum well below cost and it kills all of the other producers.”
Nevertheless, Cramer noted Alcoa sells into “some very hot markets,” such as the aerospace and automobile industries. It also sells to the construction industry, which has been struggling.
“So without big construction and with huge exposure to the sagging European market, as well as the awful Chinese market, Alcoa’s going to be hard pressed to get to the mid-teens, where I think it would be if China weren’t producing 5 million more tons of aluminum than it needs,” Cramer said.
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Speaking of earnings, restaurant operator Yum! Brands will also deliver its quarterly results Tuesday.
Yum! operates the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, which Cramer noted does a sizable amount of business in China. Being as China’s economy has slowed, he worries KFC might not have sold that much chicken. Still, he still likes the stock in the low $60s.
Meanwhile, Federal Express will hold an analyst meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. Cramer thinks the package delivery company might actually have something positive to say, but didn’t specify what it might be.
“We have plenty of negative analyst commentary going into [the meeting], so even some tepidly positive projections could be welcomed warmly,” Cramer said.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 10
Discount retailer Costco Wholesale is scheduled to announce earnings before Wednesday’s opening bell.
The Issaquah, Wash.-based company recently reported better-than-expected September sales at stores open at least a year, helped by higher gasoline prices and stronger dollar. Its same-store sales rose by 6 percent while some analysts expected an increase of 5.7 percent, including the impact of fuel prices, according to published reports.
“Those terrific September numbers … got me thinking that I am too negative about this stock,” Cramer said. “But if there’s one point I must never stop driving home, it’s that owning expensive stocks is risky.”
In turn, Cramer recommended investors to be cautious with Costco’s stock and consider taking profits.
THURSDAY, OCT. 11
Grocer Safeway will report earnings on Thursday. To Cramer, this food store’s stock is a “falling knife.”
“So many people have tried to call the bottom in this stock and all they have is thousands of shopping cart wheel ruts on their backs,” Cramer said. “I’m thinking that Safeway will one day be like the checkout line — ten points or less.”
When it comes to grocery store stocks, Cramer noted that he prefers Whole Foods Market.
After Thursday’s closing bell, Cramer will look for earnings results from JB Hunt Transport Services.
“JB Hunt can move the transport index and the transport index can move the overall market by confirming any advance,” Cramer said, adding that unlike FedEx or United Parcel Service, the U.S.-based trucker isn't as greatly impacted by economic slowdowns in Asia or Europe.
FRIDAY, OCT. 12
JPMorgan Chase, which Cramer currently considers one of the best international banks, will report earnings Friday. Cramer has been critical of CEO Jamie Dimon lately, but still thinks the bank could report an “astonishing number.” Its stock has made a huge move higher lately, too, so Cramer recommends investors consider taking profits.
Speaking of banks, Well Fargo will also announce earnings Friday. In Cramer’s opinion, Wells Fargo is one of the best domestic banks right now.
“This stock has done nothing of late,” Cramer said. “I think it can gallop on the strong number that I’m expecting.”
—Reuters contributed to this report
When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
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