With the market seeing a split between people who feel that the economy is sluggish due to weakness in commodities and retail and those who take the jobs number as a sign of things picking up, Jim Cramer looked into a retail play in his game plan that's facing a problem: Newell Brands.
"My charitable trust, which you can follow if you belong to [the] actionalertsplus.com club, has been trimming back a little Newell for a simple reason: the best places to buy Newell's goods have seen reduced traffic," the "Mad Money" host said.
Cramer explained that no matter how good the consumer goods giant's products are, if they sell to Target, for instance, they are still victim to the brick-and-mortar slowdown happening in the traditional retail space.
That said, Cramer is looking forward to the company's earnings call and hopes to hear positive rhetoric about its international business and its recent merger with Jarden.
"It could be a reset quarter for Newell, but then again, if there's enough innovation, it might transcend the declining sales venues. Is it too early to find out if Jarden's really helping, with its pastiche of brands for everything from outdoors to home appliances to class rings, or did Newell pay too much given declining store traffic? We'll certainly know soon enough," Cramer said.
Entertainment giant Disney reports after Tuesday's closing bell, and despite Wall Street's recent bearishness on the viability of its ESPN business, Cramer is not changing his bullish outlook on the stock.
"Disney's a buy given its fabulous movie schedule and robust theme parks. I think [CEO Bob] Iger's conscious of ESPN's positioning and will be able to spin it in a positive and believable way," Cramer said.
Cramer believes Snap's stock has been ticking up on solid ad numbers, and is curious about what Wednesday's earnings report, Snap's first as a public company, will bring.
"Snap's setting itself up as a trade into the numbers if it stays right here or goes a little bit lower, but that could be a hard task because it seems to be climbing. The competitive business at Instagram is smoking. Let's see if there's room for both," Cramer said.
Cramer is embracing the view of JPMorgan retail analyst Matthew Boss that retail hit a trough in February, which makes the "Mad Money" host more optimistic for the Thursday earnings reports from retailers Macy's and Kohl's.
The "Mad Money" host bets that JC Penney's earnings report could show some improvement, but worries Thursday's reports from Macy's and Kohl's could steal the spotlight — and some upside.
"Not all steelmakers are created equal. Some are a lot more equal than others," he said. "When you look at the major American steel players — and there, you've got to think AK Steel, Nucor, Steel Dynamics, and the troubled U.S. Steel — what you see is a wide range of companies with very different characteristics."
Having heard quarterly reports from all of these major players, it became clear to Cramer that steel, a commodity, was not at the center of U.S. Steel's underperformance.
"In other words, Nucor and Steel Dynamics seem to be in pretty good shape. They're both up slightly for 2017, while U.S. Steel and AK Steel have been put through the meat grinder, down 35 and 43 percent, respectively," Cramer said.
In light of Cinco de Mayo, Cramer went off the tape and interviewed Avion Tequila President Jenna Fangan for her take on business.
Fangan touted her company's new initiatives to draw millennials to their products such as introducing new flavored drinks at better price points.
But the president also shared the most unique thing about her business, which may sound downright unnatural to the average businessperson.
"I think one of the things that we're really proud of, and it sounds so strange from a business perspective, is we're inefficient. We're the most inefficient tequila producer," Fangan told Cramer on Friday.
"It's how you make art and it's how you make great tequila. So it's this hand-crafted small batch, and that's what people love because they get this incredible flavor, but at the same time, the accountants hate it," Fangan said.
"Let me ask you a question first. Did you buy IBM because the Oracle of Omaha owned it? If so, sure, leave the building and don't let the door hit you on the way out because you should be ashamed," the "Mad Money" host said. "If you bought it because of him, you never knew what you owned anyway so you might as well be a lemming and blow the darned thing out."
While Cramer understood Buffett's disappointment, he argued that Buffett stepping back will give the company more freedom to explore takeover options and forge a path to new investments coming in.
"The current course isn't working when it comes to the stock or the flag planted in cognitive and analytics," Cramer said, and suggested an unusual buy for the technology player.
In Cramer's lightning round, he sped through his take on some caller favorite stocks, including:
Arconic, Inc: "Look, the current team kicked out [former CEO] Klaus Kleinfeld. The team that's with Elliott [Management] has got a real shake-em-up attitude. I'm going with Elliott's guys, right there. My charitable trust is going with them."
Team: "I know it, and I'm going to not bless it. Not right here, right now, with oil teetering. We've got to wait, because there's so many high quality oil companies that are teetering with it. We don't need to go down the food chain."
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