As retail stocks drag the market down on weak earnings reports, Jim Cramer feels like some stocks will need positive news from Washington policymakers to see any real upside.
"But on a case by case basis, there's still plenty to cheer about with individual stocks," the "Mad Money" host said. "Anything related to social, mobile, cloud, artificial intelligence, continues to get a boost. But anything related to physical bricks-and-mortar merchandising remains hopelessly disliked, with the once-stellar Nordstrom taking the group down again today."
E-commerce and the cloud reign supreme, but with Deutsche Bank's downgrade of General Electric to a "sell" rating, it looks to Cramer like enterprise and individual spending is slowing.
With these diverging forces in mind, here are the stocks and events on Cramer's radar next week:
But after competitor Priceline's management team gave downbeat guidance in their earnings report, the "Mad Money" host became less certain about the strength of the travel arena.
"Which is right? Expedia or Priceline? Rivals. Why don't we let Trivago decide, and if it's good, I suggest you go right back to the stock of Priceline at this discount, because it has been a monster long term winner over the years," Cramer said.
Tuesday: Home Depot, Stanley Black & Decker, TJX Companies
Home Depot: The home improvement giant kicks off the week's retail earnings with what Cramer expects to be a strong report.
"I always encourage people to buy this stock, but not all at once because you know what? Home Depot, up here, [has] become quite volatile. So maybe you pick up some Monday and then some after they report," he advised.
Stanley Black & Decker: An analyst meeting at this industrial tools manufacturer could prompt the stock to take off thanks to a recent wave of positive acquisitions and Home Depot's presumably strong tools sales, Cramer said.
TJX: Off-priced goods have been the savior of this Cramer-fave retail company and parent of discount chains TJ Maxx and HomeGoods.
"I've been waiting for the huge breakout that TJX will give us with all of these brick-and-mortar stores that are being closed, because they've got to offload their goods and they give them to TJX for cash, so they'll be able to sell name-brand stuff for even cheaper than you can get it on Amazon," Cramer said. "It has not happened yet. TJX's stock has been so-so. That said, I'm betting on a strong second half of the year and think you need to get in ahead of it."
Wednesday: Target, Cisco, Rexnord
Target: Even though some on Wall Street are predicting a turnaround for Target and blessing the stock because of its seemingly safe 4.3 percent yield, Cramer is not so convinced.
Cisco: The software giant reports after the close, and while competition in the cybersecurity space has driven a lot of investors away from the stock, Cramer is sticking to his guns.
"My charitable trust has owned Cisco for ages and we're going to ride it out given that CEO Chuck Robbins has been remaking this company as a soup to nuts offering for any enterprise that's trying to embrace the internet of things in a secure way," the "Mad Money" host said.
Thursday: Wal-Mart, Alibaba, Applied Materials, Salesforce.com
Wal-Mart: Of all the companies vying to compete with Amazon, Cramer thinks Wal-Mart may actually have a chance. The company will report before the opening bell and explain to shareholders how its brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce subsidiary Jet.com are boosting business and giving Amazon a run for its money.
"I think it's too early to tell, of course, if they'll win, but the stock, after languishing for ages, has become a big winner, up almost 10 percent for the year. Wal-Mart, in the end, is a bargain store, and what really matters is that bargain stores are working in this environment," Cramer said.
Alibaba: This e-commerce giant will report earnings, and it is the only Chinese stock Cramer recommends for the simple reason that business is booming.
"They have a very good handle on e-commerce, perhaps second only to Amazon, and, of course, their home market in the People's Republic is incredibly strong," the "Mad Money" host said.
Applied Materials: In the golden age of semiconductors, a company that makes machines that make the chips should be strong as ever, so Cramer expects a good earnings report.
Salesforce.com: Yet another tech name benefiting from the rise of the cloud, Cramer expects excellent numbers from Salesforce's earnings report.
"Remember, the stock does act weirdly, though, even on good quarters, so don't attempt to trade it. Just own it," Cramer advised.
Friday: Deere & Company, Foot Locker, Honeywell
Deere: For ages, anything the agriculture machinery company reported meant very little to the market, even if management insisted things were looking up.
"Then one day, investor interest simply switched, and now whatever Deere says is greeted with adulation and any caveats are totally ignored. It's remarkable," Cramer said. "I suspect the stock goes higher again unless they tell us that they're shutting the company down. I mean, that's how much this story is loved."
Foot Locker: Cramer says that this is one of two stores that is bucking negativity around mall-based retail. After Kohl's management said business from Under Armour and Nike was good and Adidas reported a strong quarter, Cramer expects positive things from Foot Locker's report.
Honeywell: Friday's analyst meeting at this multinational will be the first one run by new President and CEO Darius Adamczyk. After hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb's activist fund suggested the company split, Cramer is curious to hear Adamczyk's thoughts on the matter.
Cramer's bottom line? "I think that when earnings are finished, maybe Wall Street will start focusing on the White House again, if they can focus themselves. Right now, though, the only thing this market cares about is the numbers," Cramer said. "If the numbers are good, stocks go up regardless of the Comey fracas or the state of the Russia probe. And if they're bad, they get taken to the woodshed, or even go straight into the chipper-shredder."
Watch the full segment here: