As the new year swings into high gear, Cramer is anticipating at least two market moving catalysts to sweep across Wall Street in only a handful of days.
First there's the employment report. Released on Friday before the bell, "No other economic metric matters to the market or moves stocks quite like this," Cramer said.
Also, Alcoa kicks off earnings season with its quarterly report on Thursday. "For me, earnings season means hearing from companies and finding out what's really happening in the economy," Cramer said. To professional investors, few things matter more.
And that's not all - there are a slew of smaller catalysts that could impact sectors as well as individual stocks, too.
The first full trading week of January promises to be a busy one. Here's what's on Cramer's calendar.
MONDAY JANUARY 6
China will get Cramer's undivided attention on Monday with the HSBC PMI number. "I'm hoping the reading shows some acceleration soon," Cramer said, or China weakness will likely reemerge as a theme in the market.
"Now, you know I'm U.S.-centric, but other than yesterday, the industrials have been the leaders in this market, and these stocks rely on stronger economic numbers not just from the United States, but also from Europe and China. Lately I've liked the European numbers very much, but China's gone tepid again. If we get a strong PMI then Monday's going to be a terrific day for the industrials. If not, then they might tread water until we see the earnings."
TUESDAY JANUARY 7
On Tuesday Cramer will be following two distinct areas of the economy – specialty retail and tech.
In retail, "We hear from Container Store," Cramer said. "I'll be looking at same store sales and the company's expansion plans. Given how expensive the stock is, we need to see some mid single digit same store sales growth and hints that the demand is so great, management intends to accelerate its new store growth in 2014. In my opinion that's what will move this stock higher."
In tech, Cramer is keen to hear from Micron. "We know that the quarter's going to be strong. However, I'll be listening for new capacity coming on line. I believe that if analysts repeatedly ask whether there's more capacity coming on somewhere around the globe, then it won't matter what Micron reports. The stock will go lower."
WEDNESDAY JANUARY 8
On Wednesday Cramer will be paying close attention to the earnings call held by Monsanto. "Today General Mills announced that it's stopping the use of genetically modified organisms in Cheerios. Is this the beginning of a trend that could ultimately hurt Monsanto in the out years? I want to hear what they have to say."
Also, Cramer will keep an ear peeled for earnings from Bed Bath & Beyond. "This is a stock that tends to get crushed on its cryptic, clipped outlook—they do a real truncated conference call. This one is hard to trade."
THURSDAY JANUARY 9
On Thursday Cramer is looking for insights on economies of the world as Alcoa releases its results. "CEO Klaus Kleinfeld offers the single most rigorous analysis of the world's economies, as well as his company's customer base. We'll learn whether Klaus sees commercial construction getting stronger. We'll get a feel for whether the downbeat December auto numbers we got today are an aberration. We'll find out about power plant construction and airplane production. There isn't a piece of commerce that Alcoa doesn't touch. I can't wait for it. I urge you to listen to the call and read the presentation that goes with it."
FRIDAY JANUARY 10
Cramer feels that the jobs report released on Friday could set the market's tone for quite some time to come. "This number will create the prism that we'll peer through when we try to prognosticate about how the rest of the quarter's going to go. I promise to be there with you as we puzzle over the number, which I suspect will be a strong one."
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