In the week ahead, Monday and Wednesday could be kinda big. Are you ready?
Here are the earnings and other catalysts that Jim Cramer thinks could move stocks, sectors and perhaps the entire market:
Mon., May 12
Cramer is hoping that by Monday morning, there's definitive word on unconfirmed reports that say Apple is looking to buy headphone maker Beats. "The palpable absurdity of today's guessing game—are they or aren't they—weighed down the stock. It also caused some serious head-scratching, as in, "What the heck is Apple doing with this?"
Cramer doesn't think the acquisition is really about headphones or streaming music. If it were, he thinks Apple would buy Pandora and Harman, a move he believes would ignite Apple stock.
Instead, Cramer thinks Apple is trying to buy a renewed sense of "cool." And he believes that involves acquiring executive Jimmy Iovine, "an industry leader and friend of Steve Jobs who co-founded Beats and truly understands where the music business is going."
Although a deal over the long-term could prove extremely lucrative, in the short-term Cramer says, "If you come in Monday and hear Apple really did buy Beats, I could see the stock dropping another 2 to 3 percent. I don't know how many people are going to understand the importance of Iovine, even if that man can dramatically augment the value of Apple over time. Monday will tell the tale."
Tues., May 13
On Tuesday, Cramer will be closely watching earnings from Fossil. "Lots of people regard Fossil as a faddish watchmaker, but I think we'll learn a great deal about the company's foray into wearable devices," Cramer said.
Also Cramer will be parsing through results from Take-Two Interactive. "CEO Straus Zelnick has said the 'Grand Theft Auto' franchise just keeps getting stronger. Personally, I'm eager to hear about digital adoption and how well they're coping in this new world. All told, I think the stock still has upside."
Wed., May 14
On Wednesday, Cramer will turn his attention to results from Deere. "I'm betting the company will print a terrific number but then, when its executives start talking on the conference call, they'll be very conservative and the stock will be hit. If you own Deere, perhaps sell some into the early morning pop before the execs talk the stock down. That's been the pattern for years now."
In addition, Cramer wants to hear results from SodaStream. "I'm sick and tired of hearing that PepsiCo's going to buy a stake in the company to rival Coca-Cola's 10 percent stake in Keurig Green Mountain. I'm not a fan of SodaStream's stock, as it only trades on rumors. If they put an end to them, it will finally trade on earnings, and I think that will take the fizz out of the situation."
Out of all the earnings due Wednesday, Cramer admits that he's more than a little nervous about Cisco, based on commentary from CNBC contributor Herb Greenberg who says, "When Cisco reports earnings May 14 there are reasons to be surprised if it doesn't disappoint or offer another, bigger, warning than it did last November."
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Cramer has spoken with Greenberg about his concerns and learned, "Public documents leading up to the quarter are chock full of evidence of an inventory pile-up that could conceivably lead to still one more dramatic revision down in earnings estimates. Let's just say, you've now been warned."
Thurs., May 15
Three retail stocks will get Cramer's undivided attention on Thursday as they report: Kohl's, Wal-Mart and JCPenney. "Judging by the good news we've gotten from both Costco and Gap this week, I bet we get decent quarters from all three. Because this market loves big cap consistency with good dividends and buybacks, of these stocks, I think Wal-Mart is a decent buy into the quarter, particularly if it comes down ahead of its report."
Fri., May 16
On Friday, Cramer will shift his focus to economic data. "We get housing start figures. These matter because this industry's slowed down just when it should be speeding up. If we get fewer than 1 million housing starts, I'd expect interest rates to take a another step down."
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