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Cramer's week ahead: It is shaping up to be a good week for earnings

Key Points
  • "With this latest news on trade today, next week is still going to be about China, but not as much, I think," CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • "A trade deal ... means we can finally focus on the substance of earnings and I like that," the "Mad Money" host says.
  • "I'm expecting many of these quarters could be better than expected," he says.
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It's shaping up to be a good week for earnings, says Jim Cramer

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday that he wants to read the fine print before he turns positive about President Donald Trump's claim that U.S. and China trade negotiators reached a "phase one" deal.

Investors responded positively to the news. The three major U.S. stock averages all rose more than 1% by the session close. The major indexes finished the week higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 breaking three-week losing streaks.

China agreed to as much as $50 billion in agricultural buys and some intellectual property concessions, according to Trump. In exchange, the U.S. canceled a tariff hike that was to go into effect next week.

The preliminary deal, however, has yet to be signed, and officials are expected to get to work on phase two right away.

"With this latest news on trade today, next week is still going to be about China, but not as much, I think. A trade deal ... means we can finally focus on the substance of earnings, and I like that. I'm expecting many of these quarters could be better than expected," the "Mad Money" host said. "[This] could be a good week, as long as Washington doesn't get in the way."

Monday: Brexit update?

The stock market will open for regular trading hours, but the bond market will not for Columbus Day. Across the pond, British lawmakers continue to work on a long-debated Brexit deal that would make way for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

"At this point, any deal is going to be treated as good news because it will finally put an end to the cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over Europe literally for years now," Cramer said.

Tuesday: J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, United Health, Johnson & Johnson, Workday

The major banks are scheduled to report quarterly earnings.

J.P. Morgan Chase's numbers come out in the morning and Cramer expects to hear about loan demand and see a dividend boost.

Citigroup's third-quarter results will also be released in the morning. The host wants to find out how much stock the bank bought back.

Goldman Sachs reports earnings from the quarter ending in September. Apple partnered with the bank on the Apple Card that launched in August and Cramer anticipates getting insight into the credit card's early reception.

Wells Fargo delivers quarterly results in the morning. After a long search, the financial institution has found a replacement in Visa and Bank of America veteran Charlie Scharf to lead the bank past its scandals.

"The banks had a monster move today, which makes them harder to recommend going into the earnings. The pattern here is that we tend to get profit-taking after the initial excitement ... [and] I do not expect anything different" this time, Cramer said.

Beyond the big bank reports, Cramer is keeping his eye on Johnson & Johnson, whose earnings story he said has turned into a "legal story," and United Health. The host is also interested in cloud-based payroll Workday's analyst meeting.

Wednesday: Bank of America, IBM, Netflix

Bank of America reports results from the September quarter in the morning. The stock traded within the $24 and $31 range all year, despite posting strong numbers in the last two quarters.

"I bet Bank of America can break out of this trading range if JP Morgan reports a good number the day before. That is the best analog," Cramer said.

IBM reports after the closing bell and is expected to record $18.2 billion sales and $2.67 earnings per share in its third quarter, according to FactSet.

"We need to know how Red Hat's doing," the host said. "Without specifics, the stock will continue to languish."

Netflix reports earnings and shareholders are looking to hear a more positive story about subscriber growth as streaming competition heats up, Cramer said. At one point this year, the stock climbed more than 43% to $385.03 in May but tumbled below $255 last month as companies announced their plans to enter the space that Netflix has dominated for years. Shares closed Friday's session at $282.93.

"If they deliver a better-than-expected sign-up number, the stock could rally 50 points," Cramer said.

Thursday: Honeywell, Union Pacific

Honeywell plans to release quarterly results prior to the morning bell. Wall Street is looking for the manufacturer to produce $9.1 billion in revenue, about 15% shorter than the year prior, and an EPS of $2.01, according to FactSet.

"Honeywell's been on a tear. It's one of the best performers in the group," Cramer said. "Its aerospace business has been a standout. I'd start worrying: Could Boeing be hurting it?"

Union Pacific will also deliver an earnings report before the market opens. Cramer expects the freight-hauling railroad to have a shaky quarter. Analysts expect sales to slide 4% to about $5.69 billion and earnings to grow nearly 8% to $2.32 per share, FactSet said.

Morgan Stanley reports earnings in the morning.

"I think you can buy this stock ahead — maybe on Monday or Tuesday — of when they report numbers because I expect a good quarter," Cramer said.

Friday: Schlumberger, Coca-Cola, American Express

Cramer said he is expecting good reports from both Coca-Cola and American Express.

Schlumberger reports results prior to the open. The oil stock is down nearly 10% year-to-date and analysts expect little growth in the quarter for $8.5 billion in sales.

"We still own some Schlumberger for my charitable trust...," Cramer said. "We sold some for a loss. We should have sold it all."

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Cramer's week ahead: It is shaping up to be a good week for earnings

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Goldman Sachs, Apple, JPMorgan, Citigroup, Honeywell, Schlumberger, and UnitedHealth.

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