Jim Cramer says investors have been on the edge of their seat since the election, waiting for the day of reckoning to derail stocks.
"When I look at what is happening with individual companies — not the overall market — I see a game plan that most likely will face its roughest test next week," the "Mad Money" host said.
Cramer is most concerned about retailers, as the numbers could be surprisingly bad when the companies report next week. However, he doubts that the test will be bad enough to let the bears have their big sell-off and outlined the stocks and events on his radar next week.
Tuesday: Home Depot, Macy's, Scott's Miracle Grow analyst meeting
Home Depot: While this is one of Cramer's favorite stocks, he worries that the same pattern could be ingrained. It usually runs going into the quarter, reports strong numbers, and the stock gets hammered anyway. He thinks this time will be no different.
Macy's: Be ready for the department store to once again disappoint with earnings and cut its forecast, Cramer said. Without a takeover, he thinks it will go lower.
"Tuesday morning will set the tone for the rest of retailers, so keep track of what they will say as it will stay relevant throughout the parade of bricks-and-mortar road kill that weighs on us like an anvil for the rest of the week," Cramer said.
Scotts Miracle-Gro: Many investors have asked Cramer for a legitimate play on marijuana that is away from GW Pharma. Unfortunately, Cramer said there is no real play. However, he will be watching what happens at the Scotts Miracle-Gro meeting and he is hoping that the company hints that it might spin off its Hawthorne hydroponic division, which could help with growing marijuana indoors.
Tesla: Among the top CEOs that Cramer admires, Elon Musk does not get his due from Wall Street. The problem, Cramer said, is that the stock is difficult to analyze on fundamentals, considering how non-traditional its earnings reports are. Cramer will want to know how its Solar City acquisition is going and how many Model 3s can be produced this year and next.
Cramer is also interested in hearing about Musk's relationship with Trump.
"It does seem that, despite a belief that his anti-fossil fuel bent and reliance on government tax credits could put him in bad stead with Trump, his build America mentality makes him the president's unlikely hero," Cramer said.
Thursday: Kohl's, Gap, Nordstrom, Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake: A warm winter will likely not allow natural gas companies to blow away the numbers, but Cramer said Chesapeake could still be a good buy after it reports on anticipation of more pipelines and higher demand in the future.
Kohl's, Gap, Nordstrom: These stocks bounced back last time they reported because they were hit before reporting. Cramer expects the same this time, but said to be careful because Amazon has reduced these to just trades, not investments.
Friday: Foot Locker, J.C. Penney
Cramer expects Foot Locker to be good, and J.C. Penney to be problematic.
"Next week … has the weakest line-up of earnings season, and they can put downward pressure on the entire market, even as the real blame for the nasty numbers lies not with these companies, but the Washingtons — D.C. and Seattle," Cramer said.
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