Pay attention to Friday’s labor report

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CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday laid out what he thinks investors should focus on in the coming week, pinpointing next week’s nonfarm payroll report, which measures unemployment and wage inflation. The labor figures could indicate whether interest rates will stay low, he said.

And with rates on the decline, Cramer asserted that buyers are broadening their focus. Stocks unrelated to the “Magnificent Seven” may get a chance to shine.

“This was some week for the huddled masses of stocks longing to be free of the bears,” he said. “I bet next week will be more of the same.”

On Monday, Cramer said he will be watching for earnings from NIO, a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer. Monday will feature November’s durable goods orders survey, which measures industrial activity. Cramer said a negative reading could propel the market higher.

Many snack and junk food companies saw their stocks plummet as Wall Street feared the effects of new weight-loss drugs on the consumer, Cramer said. He added that one of the “biggest losers” was J.M. Smucker, which recently bought Twinkie-maker Hostess. Cramer said he’ll be watching to see if J.M. Smucker’s Tuesday report can “change the narrative” on junk food stocks. Tuesday also brings earnings from homebuilder Toll Brothers and database software company MongoDB.

Wednesday, Cramer said he’s rooting for Campbell Soup to report a positive quarter. He’ll also be paying attention when Ollie’s Bargain Outlet reports earnings, wondering if consumers have moved on from off-price retailers.

With an earnings report from Dollar General, Thursday will tell investors whether the company has been able to “break the anti-dollar store spell,” Cramer said. He’ll also be waiting for earnings results from “two winners,” Broadcom and Lululemon. Broadcom just closed on a deal to buy cloud software company VMware, and Cramer said he wonders if the semiconductor outfit will announce projections that will get its stock moving.

Friday will bring the “great rate arbiter,” November’s labor report. Cramer said he thinks rates will keep falling if the unemployment rate rises to 4% and there isn’t significant wage growth.

Jim Cramer looks ahead to next week's market game plan

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