Earnings and data should give clues to Fed moves

Jim Cramer says he wants the Fed to talk tough on inflation and avoid 'endless' rate hikes

CNBC Jim Cramer Friday previewed next week’s schedule of economic and earnings data, which will provide fresh insights into Wall Street’s top concern: whether the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike campaign will drive the US into recession .

“We want the Fed to talk about a great game, without having to do too much,” Cramer said on Friday’s episode of “Mad Money.” “Talking is better than acting. We want [Fed Chair Jerome Powell] scare the economy into slowing down under its own weight. We don’t want endless rate hikes… that will destroy everything in their path.”

Cramer’s comments on Friday came after the stock market ended consecutive negative weeks, with the S&P 500 now down 5.6% in December. The decline came as investors grow more concerned that the US economy will slip into recession next year. On Wednesday, the Fed high interest rates by half a percentage point to their highest levels in 15 years.

All earnings, revenue and economic data estimates are courtesy of FactSet.

Tuesday: New homes and profits from General Mills, FedEx and Nike

Housing Starts in November

  • Seasonally adjusted annual rate: 1.41 million

The Census Bureau’s Tuesday morning report on residential construction is notable because of the spike in home prices during the Covid pandemic, according to Cramer. Building more houses is one way to lower prices and help cool inflation in general. However, he cautioned that concerns about the US economy make housing starts in November unlikely to be strong.

general mills

  • Q2 2023 earnings before the bell; conference call at 9 am ET
  • Projected EPS: $1.06
  • Projected revenue: $5.19 billion

General Mills has a tough earnings setup, Cramer said, because shares are up 29% year-to-date despite a brutal year for the overall market. The company has been able to raise prices because its cereal brands are beloved, he said.


  • Second quarter 2023 earnings after closing; conference call at 5:30 pm ET
  • Projected EPS: $2.82
  • Projected sales: $23.70 billion

When FedEx last reported, it detailed major cost-cutting plans that should help boost profitability. Cramer said that for any investor who thinks the Federal Reserve cannot ultimately raise interest rates as much as it projects, a post-earnings sell-off could create an opportunity to buy FedEx stock.


  • Q2 2023 earnings at 4:15 pm ET; conference call at 5 pm ET
  • Projected EPS: 65 cents
  • Projected sales: $12.58 billion

Nike has received a number of analyst updates of late, which Cramer says is likely because analysts are trying to get ahead of the full-scale reopening of the Chinese economy. “I think they’re going to be right,” she said.

Wednesday: Carnival, Cintas and Micron earnings

Thursday: Paychex and Carmax earnings

Friday: Inflation data

November Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index

  • Core MoM: 0.2% expected
  • Core year-over-year: 4.6% expected

The core PCE is the Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation gauge. Excludes food and energy. Cramer said that if PCE data suggests inflation “keeps smoldering,” the Fed may need to keep its foot on the gas.

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