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Up and down Wall Street, bulls were licking their wounds Friday with biotech and momentum stocks driving the worst decline on the Nasdaq since Nov. 9, 2011.
Selling prevailed across the broader indexes, too, with investors wondering just how steep the current decline may become.
Since reaching a record intraday high on April 4, the S&P 500 has fallen 4.2 percent, while the Nasdaq has dropped 8.5 percent from its March 6 intraday high.
When will the selling stop?
For insights, Jim Cramer will be watching a slew of earnings in the week ahead and the subsequent price action.
"I'll be on sea-change watch all next week, trying to figure out when value ebbs and growth flows," Cramer said. Here's what's on Cramer's radar.
MON., APRIL 14
On Monday, the banking industry will land front and center with Citigroup reporting earnings. "Citigroup flunked the government's test for returning capital last month," Cramer said, suggesting the sentiment will likely be negative. "Considering they have no dividend, no buyback and little earnings growth. I'd just stay away."
TUES., APRIL 15
On Tuesday, Cramer says, investors will get a read on the rotation into value stocks with earnings from Coca-Cola and Intel.
"Let's say Coca-Cola reports a hideous number, certainly possible, and yet it doesn't go down. If that happens, then you know that this rotation out-of-high fliers into bonds and low-fliers-with-dividends like Coke isn't over," Cramer said.
"It's the same with Intel, which has a nice yield at 3.4 percent. Also it's hugely profitable, even if it has almost no growth. I suspect it's exactly the kind of stock this market wants right now."
WED., APRIL 16
With both IBM and Google reporting earnings on Wednesday, Cramer expects old and new tech to land front and center.
"Right now the perception is that IBM's a solid growth company and Google's an outrageously expensive high flier. Neither, however is true," he said.
Nonetheless, Cramer believes that perception will trump reality. "Although I do not think IBM's current quarter will be a good one, because Warren Buffett owns it, people will buy it anyway."
And, he added, "I think Google's quarter will be good because my checks show that it remains the gorilla in the search space." Nonetheless, if Google follows its one-month chart pattern, the path of least resistance could be lower.
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If you're looking to put money to work, Cramer suggests looking at Bank of America, which also reports earnings on Wednesday. "My thinking? The market will be so negative about Bank of America by the time it reports that we'll finally catch a bottom in this one. Don't buy it before then, though," Cramer said.
THURS., APRIL 17
On Thursday, Cramer will again take the temperature of a market that has shunned growth.
Chipotle reports earnings on Thursday. As a restaurant stock that trades with a 51 P/E, Cramer thinks the price action could be very telling. "Because the market is rotating out of growth and into value, I bet Chipotle gets hammered," Cramer said.
Also Cramer will be watching the IPO of Sabre, a transaction processing company. "It could be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back. Excess supply is crushing this market and I'm not sure it can handle a $3 billion deal. So look out below if this Sabre deal comes, because unless the bankers price it right, we're going to have an awful lot of hurt visited upon us."
In addition, Cramer will be watching GE on Thursday. "All I can say is that GE's become a tough own, even though it's cheap. Something good needs to happen."
"Finally there's PepsiCo, one of the best performing big cap stocks out there during this horrendous rotation. I'm expecting fireworks because I don't think Nelson Peltz (who has been pushing PepsiCo to separate its beverage and snack businesses) will go away quietly."
FRI., APRIL 18
Markets are closed for Good Friday.
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