Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway dramatically cut its stakes last fall in two of the nation's biggest oil companies. It also significantly reduced its holdings of Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
Expect a little more volume than normal Friday: Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares are going into the S&P 500 today. This is attracting an unusual amount of interest from the trading community, due to the large size of the addition. About $1 trillion is indexed to the S&P 500.
What follows is a roundup of corporate earnings reports for Friday, Feb. 12.
Plus, the Mad Money host puts Friday's market losses into perspective.
The Dow and S&P closed higher on Thursday as investors bet on a year-end rally with money rotating into the technology sector.
In what appears to be a bet consumers will stick with discount retailers even after the economy rebounds, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway increased its Wal-Mart holdings by almost 90 percent during the summer. It added almost 18 million shares, currently worth almost $1 billion, in the third quarter.
Ahead of Friday's opening bell, investors will be watching earnings from Microsoft and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's address at the Boston Fed's annual conference.
With the Dow back to the same level, it’s time to reassess. What should investors do now?
Guy Adami and Karen Finerman are closely watching two stocks that are starting to look like turnaround stories.
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway was doing more selling than buying of stocks during the second quarter, but there is one new holding: New Jersey-based medical technology company Becton Dickinson. Berkshire also added to its stake in Johnson & Johnson, although the holdings are still well below where they were before Buffett sold over 33 million shares last fall.
While the S&P 500 is up 3.8 percent this week, the S&P 500 equal-weighted index, which gives each of the 500 stocks an equal weighting, is up 4.7 percent this week. In other words, this has been a fairly broad rally, with lots of stocks participating in the rally.
“It almost feels like the press is trying to keep you from making money. Every story I read, no matter what it’s about, the spin is negative.” Cramer said.
Even though Warren Buffett always says he likes stocks more when they're cheaper, he didn't do a lot of buying as Wall Street's major indexes fell to their bear-market lows (so far) in early March. Berkshire Hathaway's first quarter stock portfolio snapshot shows no blockbuster buys. A few stakes did, however, get bigger during the first three months on the year.
Cramer makes the call on viewers' favorite stocks.
Futures turned down about 6 points at 8:30 AM as Morgan Stanley reported a loss of $0.57, much worse than the loss of $0.08 expected. This officially ends the streak where banks have beaten estimates. Top line miss was rather large: $3.0 billion vs. $4.8 billion expected.
A strong mid-morning rally. While ISM a tad better than expected helped at 10 AM ET, and pending home sales were also "less worse" than expected, don't kid yourself.
What's next? With the end of the quarter, two events are on the minds of traders: 1) the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) meets on mark-to-market Thursday. And: 2) earnings guidance. Alcoa kicks off earnings season this Monday. Everyone believes that guidance will be downbeat and generally below expectations.
The Lightning Round is extended in this CNBC.com exclusive feature.
Instead of asking what Warren Buffett has been buying, we should have been wondering what he's been selling. Berkshire Hathaway's stock portfolio snapshot for the end of the fourth quarter reveals its holdings in Johnson and Johnson have been slashed by more than half.
Futures are essentially flat this morning, but don't kid yourself. Every comment from traders I have received this morning sings the same song: we must get government policy sorted out in the next few weeks, or the market will make new lows.