With the calendar careening toward Christmas retail will be top of mind next week as investors look for any and all signs of strength or weakness this holiday shopping season.
And insights will be coming from far and wide as a new batch of companies report earnings.
Here's what Cramer will be watching.
MONDAY DECEMBER 9
Cramer will spend Monday knee-deep in Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and other popular designer brands as PVH reports earnings.
" I think PVH will do well," Cramer said. "We've been getting solid clues about how the company's doing. For example, JC Penney had good November sales, and PVH has a healthy partnership with Penney which sells its Izod brand. Also Macy's said good things about apparel and PVH has a hammerlock on ties and shirts there."
TUESDAY DECEMBER 10
On Tuesday Cramer will be closely watching Autozone earnings. "The average car on the highway in this country is more than eleven years old, so people are stepping into the zone all the time to get what they need to keep their cars running."
Cramer likes the stock, however, "there's a trick to this stock that you should know about," he added. "People initially tend to dislike the quarter. The first blush is almost always bad. Lately, that's been the time to buy AutoZone. Prep yourself."
Also Cramer will be looking for a read on home buyers as Toll Brothers reports earnings. "I like Toll's management and they will be very upfront about what higher rates mean for homebuilding. Is there a level where business drops off? Is there a level where things are overheating? That's what I want to know."
And if you're looking for opportunity, Cramer added, "I don't like the homebuilders, but I do think that the home-related stocks will get a kick up higher if we get anything good out of Toll."
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 11TH
On Wednesday Cramer will be closely watching what Costco has to say about its customers. "Costco's doing better than just about everyone else in retail and that's what you need to think about when the company reports," Cramer said.
"Last time it got hammered, and my charitable trust came in and swept a lot of stock up betting that people would come to their senses soon and recognize that Costco's quarter was terrific versus the group. The stock then proceeded to go up ten points pretty much in a straight line," Cramer said.
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Also Cramer will be listening to results from Men's Wearhouse. "There's a soap opera going on right now with this stock. First, its public face, George Zimmer, was booted from the company. Then its smaller rival, Jos A. Bank, attempted to take over Men's Wearhouse. That didn't work. Now Men's Wearhouse is trying to take over Jos A. Bank. I don't blame you if you take profits in Men's Wearhouse ahead of the quarter. There's just too much going on."
THURSDAY DECEMBER 12TH
On Thursday Cramer will be examining the health of high-end retail with results from Lululemon. "I love their stuff and I want to hear what they say about the sports apparel business, but I'd stay away from the stock," Cramer said. "There are just too many cross currents here ranging from issues with the product to who will be the new CEO."
FRIDAY DECEMBER 13TH
On Friday Cramer will be looking over a key piece of economic data that could inform whether tapering begins sooner or later.
"We get the producer price index," Cramer explained. "Watch this number and don't lose sight of the fact that as long as there's no inflation in the system, there's plenty of room for the Fed to stay the course."
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