While Wall Street is preparing for a shortened week with Thanksgiving on the calendar, CNBC's Jim Cramer is keeping his eye on key corporate earnings reports set to release before the holiday.
The stock market will be closed on Thursday and open for a half-day of trading Friday to close out the week, yet investors may want to start thinking about a long-term game starting Wednesday, according to the "Mad Money" host.
"Wednesday marks the beginning of a very seasonally strong period [for stocks]," he said. "If you believe history will repeat itself this year, as it often does, then you might want to get long the whole market on Tuesday."
Stocks fell on Friday, handing the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes their first week of losses since October. The Dow fell almost 220 points, or 0.8%, to 29,263.48, a 0.7% decline this week. The S&P 500 also slipped 0.7% to 3,557.54, completing a weekly decline of 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.4% to 11,854.97 at the close.
Market players traded around the news of rising daily coronavirus cases, worries of the U.S. economic recovery and vaccine optimism.
Cramer referred viewers to review his "up stocks," a list of 10 companies that he expects money managers to focus on as the market closes out the year that was 2020.
"Once we make it through the push and pull of the virus and the disputed election next week, it's back to buying the up stocks," he said. "These are the anointed winners for 2020 that should keep winning until the end of the year."
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:
"I think it could be a blowout, meaning there's a good chance Best Buy rallies on the news," Cramer said.
"I keep thinking they're about to have that breakout quarter, then nothing happens. The gains have all been with Dollar General, their archrival," he said. "This one's too risky to buy ahead of the quarter."
"Foot Locker delivered some terrific numbers today, yet its stock got slammed in part because it had run into the quarter," Cramer said. "I fear the same thing's going to happen with Dick's Sporting Goods on Tuesday morning."
"It's been a consistent winner and I bet it maintains that tradition," he said.
"If Medtronic gets hit, I'd be a buyer because the vaccine is coming," he said.
"When Covid infections first screamed higher in the spring, the packaged food stocks screamed higher, too," Cramer said. "My guess is this happens again now that restaurants are being shut down again."
"I think Smucker's ready to play catch-up, although I still prefer the consistency of Spam, the food synonymous with Hormel," he said.
"Analog Devices has a fabulous internet of things business that the bulls will love." he said.
"Dell's been a horse," Cramer said.
"VMware's been a bit more up and down. Right now it's up so it has to tell a great story," he said.
"Turns out Kohl's is doing better than [expected]," the host said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we see the same from Nordstrom on Tuesday afternoon."
"I say press the LAG (L Brands, American Eagle Outfitters, Gap) bet, buy some American Eagle Outfitters and Gap before they report on Tuesday night," he said. "I know what you're thinking, these are tainted brands, but they've both made remarkable business comebacks and I think you're going to see the fruits of that when they report their earnings."
"If it pulls back, remember that Deere's a textbook play on President-elect Biden ratcheting down the tension with China, meaning you'll get a pop any time you hear about some new accord with the Chinese Communist Party," he said.