CNBC's Jim Cramer on Friday prepared investors for the most consequential week of the year, delivering his outlook for election week and revealing his game plan for a string of quarterly earnings reports.
"I know we all want this election to be over, so steel yourself for a messy, confusing outcome leading to some messy, confusing action in the stock market, where, therefore, opportunities will abound," the "Mad Money" host said.
Wall Street on Friday completed a negative month of trading, the second in a row, ahead of the Nov. 3 election. While a large number of Americans have already cast ballots, experts have advised that a winner of the presidential contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden may not be called Tuesday night.
An Electoral College winner may not be declared for days, and Cramer worries the uncertainty could weigh on stocks.
"I am expecting massive confusion. This is going to be a confusing week, actually one of the most confusing weeks of my career," he said. "Unless the results are a blowout on [Tuesday], we might not know who won for days ... and Wall Street hates that kind of uncertainty."
Cramer, however, said it's "too late" to sell stocks after a week of widespread selling that turned out to be the worst week for the S&P 500 since March. The market has presented a "perfect buying opportunity" in Apple, Amazon and Facebook, he said, recommending investors could start a position on Monday and wait until after the election to buy more.
The stock market will likely "react best" to a Trump victory, but dip on a Biden win, given the Democrat's tax proposal, the host said.
"I think you buy a little on Monday when the market no doubt revisits some of today's lows" and then wait to "buy some more on Wednesday if Biden wins, especially if it's close and Trump doesn't concede," Cramer said.
"Then you wait until the unemployment number on Friday to buy a third tranche of stock," he continued. "Worst case, you buy some stocks on Monday, and there's no ball of confusion, and you'll at least have gotten a third of your money into the stock market."
Cramer gave viewers a look at the earnings reports he has circled on his calendar in the week ahead. All projections are based on FactSet estimates:
"People may be stuck at home, but if spend all day on Zoom, you still want your face to look good," Cramer said.
"The stock's been drifting down, though, which is scaring people, and I say we got to wait and see," he said.
"I expect nothing less than a blowout from this chipmaker that's furiously trying to meet massive 5G demand," the host said.
"I think you should wait until Tuesday to buy this one if you want in, and you should want in because PayPal's the best financial technology play around," he said.
"Lots of people will sell this one if Biden wins, betting that the Democrats will declare war on private insurance," Cramer said. "I say that would be an incredible buying opportunity as it has been after every critical election where we fear that the Democrats are going to do that."
"I also want to be watching Emerson and Eaton, two big industrials, to see what they have to say about their end markets," he said.
"I bet they knock it out of the park," Cramer said. "Buy some Apple before Qualcomm starts squawking, because Apple's one of their largest customers, even if they're not allowed to mention Apple by name."
"T-Mobile reports, and I expect fantastic numbers. Might be a good place to go if the election still hasn't been sorted out," Cramer said. "Same goes for Roku, the cord-cutting kingpin that's adored by young people."
"Maybe buy some Thursday and then buy more Friday if the stock pulls back on imperfect numbers," he said.
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Take-Two Interactive, Amazon, Apple and Facebook.