Mad Money

Cramer's game plan: Back in action with a retail earnings bonanza

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer chooses key stocks and events for investors to keep an eye on in the week ahead.
  • A wave of retail earnings should give market-watchers a comprehensive look at the state of the industry.
Back in action with retail earnings bonanza

We can't keep it from you any longer, Cramerica. After two weeks of Olympic festivities, CNBC's Jim Cramer is back and ready to help you navigate the surging stock market.

"Things have gotten a little crazy around here," the "Mad Money" host said on Monday. "That's why I think what we need, more than anything else at the moment, is to get right back in sync immediately."

Without further ado, Cramer presented his game plan for a busy week of earnings announcements:

Tuesday: Macy's, Workday, EOG, the Fed

Macy's: The department store giant reports earnings before Tuesday's opening bell. Investors' expectations are high for the retailer. Cramer was confident in CEO Jeff Gennette's leadership.

"No one really believes that Jeff Gennette, the new CEO, can do much to change Macy's fate," he said. "I think the consensus is dead wrong. Gennette's reinventing Macy's as a cooler, hipper department store that looks a lot neater, ... with a flagship store in Herald Square that I think is bound to get a boost from the weaker dollar."

Workday: Cramer wished the stock of software-as-a-service provider Workday hadn't run so much ahead of the company's Tuesday evening earnings release.

"I suspect a fantastic quarter that often is misunderstood, giving you your umpteenth undeserved chance to buy on weakness," he said.

EOG Resources: Oil and gas giant EOG resources also reports earnings after the bell. Along with Pioneer Natural Resources, EOG has become a must-own energy stock for some investors.

"I reiterate that there's a sea-change going on against the group, though, and you need to sell the oils into strength, even the good ones," Cramer warned. "I think EOG's extraordinarily well run, but younger portfolio managers who will inherit [its stock] simply don't believe in fossil fuels."

Federal Reserve: The "Mad Money" host was also focused on Tuesday's first major announcement from the Fed's new Chairman, Jerome Powell.

Wednesday: Lowe's, TJX Companies, the Fed, Honeywell

Lowe's: Cramer wanted a break from the activists agitating for changes at Lowe's as he looked ahead to the company's Wednesday earnings report.

"We'd think of Lowe's as one of the best retailers on earth if they weren't competing with Home Depot, which might be the best retailer, period," Cramer said. "Pray for a dip so you can do some buying."

TJX Companies: The T.J. Maxx parent will also deliver an earnings report, but after a number of disappointing quarters, Cramer wondered if the off-price retailer could regain its credibility.

Honeywell: An analyst meeting at Honeywell should give the market some insight on whether the industrial conglomerate will follow through on its breakup plans or remain as one company.

"My charitable trust, which you can follow along at, has been in front of this one because we admire [CEO] Darius [Adamczyk] for his willingness to explore all his options for unlocking value," Cramer said.

Thursday: Best Buy, Anheuser Busch Inbev, VMware, Nordstrom

Best Buy: Cramer considers Best Buy, which will deliver its quarterly earnings report Thursday, to be "chronically undervalued."

"Best Buy will tell a good story of strong demand for electronics," he said.

Anheuser Busch: The Budweiser manufacturer will also report earnings on Thursday, and with the rival Constellation Brands' Modelo and Corona beer products on the rise, Cramer wasn't sure what to make of Anheuser Busch's business.

"This could be the last truly weak quarter from BUD, so a trade may be in the offing," he predicted.

VMware: One of Cramer's favorite technology stocks, cloud play VMware, will deliver its quarterly results after the market close.

"There's all sorts of clutter and chatter about what Dell will do, as it owns the majority stake here," Cramer noted. "My 2 cents? I don't think anyone in this hierarchy is out to hurt VMware's shareholders and its technology may be among the best there is. I would buy the stock. Let's do this: buy some before and buy some after."

Nordstrom: Plenty of market-watchers, Cramer included, remain in the dark when it comes to the Nordstrom founding family's plans for its business.

"I don't know what to say about Nordstrom. We told club members this was among our favorite retailers just last week, and we don't need a takeover to vindicate that judgment, but it sure wouldn't hurt, would it?" Cramer said.

"Either way, I expect decent numbers given how well their kind of apparel and footwear have been selling. If the stock stays this low versus its peers, and it was down today, I bet it does take itself private," he said.

Friday: Foot Locker, J.C. Penney

Foot Locker: Cramer expected Foot Locker's Friday morning earnings report to maintain the stock's climb higher considering the strength in major footwear brands.

"Is it my favorite? No," he admitted. "But many analysts turned negative at the bottom and they're still scrambling and itching to go positive up here. With a resurgent Nike, a good Adidas [and] declining inventory from Under Armour, ... I think Foot Locker is likely to be a win."

J.C. Penney: The "Mad Money" host's concern ahead of J.C. Penney's earnings report was that retailers like Kohl's or Target were simply outpacing J.C. Penney's successes.

"As my mother always said, comparisons are odious, except when it comes to horses and stocks," he said.

Final Thoughts

With stocks recovering after the market's mild correction, Cramer's outlook for investors also turned positive when looking at the week ahead.

"The bottom line? There's a lot to like this week, but please pay special attention to Fed Chief Jay Powell's trip to the Hill [on Tuesday], where I think he'll set a very positive tone," the "Mad Money" host said. "And if he doesn't? All the more lucky. Do some buying."

WATCH: Cramer's game plan for retail earnings and the Fed

Cramer's game plan: Back in action with a retail earnings bonanza

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the U.S. broadcast rights holder to all Summer and Winter Games through the year 2032. Also, Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Honeywell, Constellation Brands and Nordstrom.

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