Consumer spending could drive upside surprises

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Walmart: Calling Walmart’s recent $16 billion investment in Indian e-commerce play Flipkart “one of the gutsiest moves this company has ever made,” Cramer said the stock’s weakness in response was “ridiculous.”

“With China dominated by Alibaba and the U.S. the province of Amazon, Walmart needed to try to take a piece of the second-most-populous country on earth,” he argued. “At this point, the stock is so low that I have to believe a weak [earnings] number will get ignored, and a number [that’s] even just a little bit positive gets this stock moving higher again.”

J.C. Penney: Shares of J.C. Penney have struggled to rally despite a widespread comeback in the retail sector. Cramer said that while any good earnings news could push the stock higher, J.C. Penney hasn’t been able to deliver good enough news in recent years.

“The problem? This company has no real differentiating factor beyond being one of the homes of Sephora, the wildly popular cosmetics chain,” Cramer explained. “People love to speculate on this one … because it’s less than a $3 stock. Ladies and gentlemen, listen up: two bucks and change doesn’t make it cheap.”

Nordstrom: The retail resurgence could make Nordstrom a lower risk stock, Cramer said ahead of the apparel company’s earnings report.

“I expect they’ll talk about how strong the spring will be,” he said. “Remember, the Nordstrom family tried to take this company private at $50 a share, just a couple bucks higher than it is right now. I figure they must feel pretty confident about the chain’s long-term prospects or they would never have considered that buyout.”



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