Stock index futures opened mixed on Sunday evening after major indexes closed down on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling for the seventh-straight session.
Tonight, Dow futures were little changed in New York and S&P 500 E-mini futures were slightly higher by 0.02%. Nasdaq 100 E-mini futures were also flat. The euro edged slightly against the dollar.
Over the weekend, it was reported that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) is nearing a deal to buy industrial company Precision Castparts (PCP) for a price tag that could exceed $30 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
And demand for U.S. Treasuries seems to be as strong as ever despite data that show that China has reduced its holdings recently in U.S. debt by about $180 billion, Bloomberg reported.
Benchmark 10-year yields fell only about 0.6 percentage point even though the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt pared its stake between March 2014 and May of this year, based on the most recent data available from the Treasury Department.
Looking ahead, earnings continue to be the focus, and on Monday we'll be watching Action Alerts PLUS holding Kraft Heinz (KHC). TheStreet's Jim Cramer continues to recommend both Kraft Heinz and Mondelez (MDLZ) now that activist Bill Ackman has taken an interest. Also on Monday, Live Nation (LYV) and Shake Shack (SHAK) report. Cramer still likes concert promoter Live Nation, but thinks Shake Shack is still too expensive.
Tuesday brings an analyst meeting from O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), which could give a boost to Advance Auto Parts (AAP) and Cramer favorite AutoZone (AZO). We'll also be listening to pet food maker FreshPet (FRPT) to see if the company is any closer to profitability.
On Wednesday, we'll watch for reports from Macy's (M), Alibaba (BABA) and network equipment maker Cisco Systems (CSCO), another Action Alerts PLUS holding. Cramer likes Macy's both before and after it reports, but he said to wait until after Cisco reports before making any buying decisions there. As for Alibaba, Cramer is not a fan, but still likes Yahoo! (YHOO), which holds a stake in Alibaba.
A few notable retailers report on Thursday, including Nordstrom (JWN), Kohl's (KSS) and J.C. Penney (JCP). Cramer only endorsed Nordstrom.
On Friday, we turn our attention to important data: the latest producer price index. Cramer said investors should be prepared to learn that prices for all sorts of things are in decline, which means there is no inflation and gives little reason for the Federal Reserve to rush to raise interest rates in September or October.
Barron's cover story proposed this weekend that it could be time to buy commodities. Sentiment on energy, gold, oil and metals stocks may be nearing capitulation, Barron's said.
Cramer couldn't disagree more.
"I think in light of still weaker China numbers, the commodities are almost uniformly all shorts, and I see nothing that indicates they could switch direction," Cramer said.
"No turn in China. A strong dollar. An oil glut. All of these are negative, and if the dollar's strong tomorrow, I would sell these commodity-based stocks again wherever they open. I am particularly nervous about oil and how much further these stocks could go down as I expect the $43 level to break down this week," Cramer added.
And for a couple of stock picks, Barron's featured Caterpillar (CAT) and Hertz (HTZ). Caterpillar has used the mining and oil drilling downturns to set itself up for a rebound that could begin next year and bring the shares up to $90, Barron's said. While Hertz shares could nearly double (to around $30) as the company cuts costs, improves fleet management and spins out or sells core assets, Barron's noted.
For even more information on data and earnings in the week ahead, read this article by fellow Realmoney contributors Lenore Hawkins and Chris Versace and reference The Street's weekly earnings calendar.