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Jim Cramer does not like the set-up of the stock market going into next week. Historically, this is the week that can create collateral damage that can extend to the entire market.
"If you want to buy stocks, my advice is to wait until the end of next week, not the beginning," the "Mad Money" host said.
Going into the week with a tough set-up, any earnings that are less than perfect could leave investors regretting that they didn't take profits beforehand.
With this in mind, Cramer outlined the stocks he will be watching next week:
Monday: Danaher, Gilead, Texas Instruments
Danaher: Cramer has been recommending this conglomerate for a long time, but warned that the quarter could be difficult to understand because it just spun off its industrial business as a separate company. He said to buy it on any weakness.
Tuesday: Caterpillar, McDonald's, 3M, Verizon, Apple
Caterpillar: This company could provide glimmers of hope as oil and gas have come back, and it could prove that Europe and China are stronger than expected.
3M: To Cramer, the recent 20-percent gain in the stock seems unsustainable. For those investors that don't own it yet, he said not to buy it.
Apple: This will be the real test to Cramer's "own Apple, don't trade it" philosophy. He expects another no-growth quarter and the bears could be on the prowl in full force. Even worse, the stock has run up into the quarter with the expectation that it won't be bad.
"Believe me, it can be … I expect that this quarter could actually hurt the whole market — yes, Apple is that big — so beware," Cramer said.
Wednesday: Boeing, Hershey, Norfolk Southern, Facebook, Whole Foods
Boeing: Cramer thinks this quarter is also suspect due to the pause in wide body aircraft sales. He does not want investors owning it going into the quarter.
Norfolk Southern: The rails have had a bizarre run this year based on practically nothing. That's why Cramer recommended taking profits in this stock before it reports.
Thursday: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Alphabet, Amazon
Alphabet: Cramer is very concerned that there will be a troubling quarter from Alphabet, which could make for a difficult week. He likes Alphabet, but is concerned that the stock ran so much into the quarter.
Amazon: With a stock priced for perfection, Cramer wouldn't be surprised if Amazon had to turn on the spending jets to fend off competition from Wal-Mart's attempt to take share online.
"Everything has to be perfect for this stock to rally after it reports, and I just don't think perfection is attainable. Just too much ratcheting up of the competition. I say be careful," Cramer said.
Friday: Chevron, Exxon Mobil
Exxon: Cramer wants to hear why Exxon is bidding for Interoil, a small company in New Guinea. It was strange that it didn't snap up some of the independent American producers when they were so cheap. He will also be looking to hear if Exxon thinks the price of crude will head higher.
"This week of earnings season has historically produced sub-par results for stocks because we seize on the worst ones and we play a collateral damage game that can extend to the entire market," Cramer said.