Cramer’s lightning round: Go long on Hertz

“Mad Money” host Jim Cramer rings the lightning round bell, which means he’s giving his answers to callers’ stock questions at rapid speed.



Invest in Petco instead of Chewy, says Jim Cramer

CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday that investors should buy stock of Petco instead of Chewy after the latter reported a disappointing quarter on Tuesday.

“If [Chewy] aren’t turning a profit yet after all these years, I find it impossible to recommend their stock in this environment. If you want to play the humanization of pets, I’d much rather buy the stock of Petco, which has the added advantage of making a lot of money,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Chewy reported a worse-than-expected quarterly loss and revenue on Tuesday, as well as weak revenue guidance for the first quarter and full year. The online pet product retailers’ stock dropped in after-hours trading the same day and was down 16.1% on Wednesday.

Petco stock was down 3.76% on Wednesday. The company earlier this month reported better-than-expected top and bottom lines in the fourth quarter as well as a rosy 2022 revenue guidance.

Cramer posited that Chewy’s poor performance could be due to consumers’ desire for human interaction since staying inside due to Covid. Another reason he prefers Petco to Chewy is that the former offers in-person veterinary services for pets, he added.

Petco has said it plans to grow its roster of full-service veterinary hospitals to 900 from the nearly 200 it had at the end of its fiscal year. Chewy launched virtual veterinary visits for pets in October 2020.

“There’s nothing like going to the store and meeting the vet while you get whatever else you need for your pets, including more pets,” Cramer said.

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Wall Street banks love these energy stocks — and two are on Goldman’s conviction buy list

Goldman Sachs and Bank of America have identified their top energy stocks to buy, two of which are on Goldman’s coveted conviction list.



Amazon union drive in Alabama sees 39% voter turnout

Workers and supporters hold signs after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union outside the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional office in the Brooklyn Borough of New York, on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

More than 2,300 ballots were cast in a closely watched union election at one of Amazon’s Alabama warehouses, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store union.

Roughly 39% of the 6,143 eligible voters cast their ballots in the election. That’s lower than the first election last spring, when turnout was about 55%.

Workers at the Bessemer, Alabama, warehouse are voting for the second time on whether to join the RWDSU. Last spring, Amazon workers at the warehouse, known as BHM1, overwhelmingly rejected unionization. The National Labor Relations Board ordered a new election after it found Amazon improperly interfered in the union contest.

BHM1 workers had from Feb. 4 to March 25 to mail in their ballots. The NLRB on Monday began counting the votes privately, during which Amazon and the RWDSU had the opportunity to challenge ballots.

The public portion of the vote count is expected to begin as soon as Thursday afternoon, the RWDSU said.

National labor unions have long set their sights on organizing Amazon warehouse and delivery workers, but so far, no Amazon warehouse in the U.S. has successfully unionized.

The Bessemer election is concluding just as another Amazon warehouse wraps up its union drive. Voting at an Amazon warehouse on New York’s Staten Island ended on Wednesday. The NLRB is expected to begin counting ballots on Thursday.

WATCH: Amazon union vote may get a ‘do-over’



Cramer warns of trading after hours, points to big recent moves in Micron, Lululemon and RH as examples

CNBC’s Jim Cramer reminded investors to always listen to a company’s conference call before trading on earnings and to avoid after-hours trades.

“One mistake in after-hours trading will wipe you out much faster than a mistake during regular hours when everyone has the same information. There are more bids and offers, and the playing field is more-or-less even,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Cramer also listed three examples of companies that reported earnings on Tuesday, leading investors to make after-hours trading decisions with regrettable outcomes.

Here are the three cases Cramer outlined:


Micron reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue and delivered a rosy outlook in its latest quarterly results. While the stock jumped more than 4% in after-hours trading on Tuesday, it was down 3.52% on Wednesday. 

The catalyst of the drop could have been the company’s comments on the conference call regarding how Covid outbreaks in China impacted production output and how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could hinder Micron’s supply chain, according to Cramer.

“The Micron quarter was not bad. … But if you tried to chase this stock in after-hours trading at $86, you ended up paying much more than you needed to,” he said.


The athleticwear apparel company reported better-than-expected earnings but fell short on revenue in its latest quarter. Lululemon also announced a $1 billion stock buyback program. The stock climbed around 7% in after-hours trading on Tuesday but also experienced a “flash crash,” Cramer said.

He believes the culprit was confusion around estimates for Lululemon’s total comparable sales and its comparable-store sales, as well as the company’s comments on the conference call that ocean freight delays are causing more dependence on air freight.

Lululemon stock was up 9.58% on Wednesday.

“If you sold the stock down at $345 last night, you’re kicking yourself today,” Cramer said.

RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) 

RH reported an earnings beat and announced a three-for-one stock split for the spring but missed on revenue. Cramer said CEO Gary Friedman’s comments about how soaring inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are slowing the business spooked shareholders.

RH stock was down 13.33% on Wednesday.

“As much as I like stock splits, none of this stuff matters if the underlying business is struggling,” Cramer said.

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Jim Cramer says to own secular stocks, approach cyclical names with skepticism

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday advised investors to own secular growth stocks rather than cyclical stocks and to be vigilant in spotting the difference.

“The market is still eager for what is known as secular growth,” which doesn’t rely on economic cycles and likely wouldn’t be hurt by the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, the “Mad Money” host said.

“At this point in the business cycle, just about every company wants to be seen as a secular growth story. Approach them with skepticism,” he added. 

Devon Energy, Deere, Tesla and Apple are examples of secular stocks that could be great additions to investors’ portfolios, Cramer said. He added that RH, formerly Restoration Hardware, is an example of a stock that is still sensitive to the business cycle.

RH on Tuesday reported an earnings beat and announced a three-for-one stock split to take place in the spring, but fell short of Wall Street expectations on revenue.

According to Cramer, investors can spot cyclical stocks by observing when “great demand causes a shortage of supply, which then leads to more production, which in turn leads to a supply glut, so the whole edifice collapses under its weight.”

“Don’t cry for the cyclicals, though. You can make fortunes in these things on the way up, provided you know when to jump off. But if you don’t jump off at the right time, the losses can be calamitous,” he said.

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Disclosure: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Devon Energy and Apple.

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Vladimir Putin feels his military leaders misled him about Ukraine, declassified intelligence shows

WASHINGTON — Newly declassified U.S. intelligence indicates that Russian President Vladimir Putin feels he was misled by military leaders who did not tell him key details about the botched invasion of Ukraine because they feared angering him, top Biden administration officials said Wednesday.

“We believe that Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about how badly the Russian military is performing and how the Russian economy is being crippled by sanctions, because his senior advisers are too afraid to tell him the truth,” White House communications director Kate Bedingfield told reporters.

This failure to tell Putin what was really happening has “resulted in persistent tension between Putin and his military leadership,” she said.

Earlier in the day, a U.S. official told NBC News that Putin “didn’t even know his military was using and losing conscripts in Ukraine, showing a clear breakdown in the flow of accurate information to the Russian President.”

Neither the White House nor the Pentagon would say how American intelligence agencies learned what Putin was, and was not, being told during highly sensitive and presumably secure meetings with his military advisers.

But the decision to declassify and release the information now was the latest example of the Biden administration’s use of a novel tactic that seems tailor made for the hybrid warfare age. It has acquired top-secret intelligence about Putin’s plans and then told the whole world about it, breaking with the old model of keeping classified information locked away.

Several times already, the White House has taken this previously unheard of step, declassifying information about Putin’s secret invasion plans and releasing it to the public. And each time, it has been proven accurate.

“So far, the White House intelligence on Ukraine has been spot on,” said Scheherazade Rehman, director of the European Union Research Center at George Washington University. “No one believed Biden when he said they were going to invade, even in the United States. But they did.”

“In this particular area, U.S. intelligence is on its game,” she told CNBC recently.

The revelation about tensions between Putin and his top brass came at a pivotal time for Ukraine. The Kremlin appears to have shifted strategies after failing to achieve its initial ambition: to topple Ukraine’s government and install a puppet regime.

Now, Russian defense officials claim that their primary goal in sending 190,000 troops into Ukraine last month was never to occupy it, but merely to “protect” Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the country’s far east.

To that end, they say, they are repositioning troops who have spent the past month trying to surround Kyiv to points farther east and closer to Russian-controlled areas.

The Biden administration has for weeks stressed the need to avoid escalating the conflict, currently between Urkaine and Russia, into a clash between the world’s two largest nuclear armed powers: Russia and the United States.

On that front, releasing intelligence like the details announced Wednesday, which strongly suggests the U.S. has a mole in Putin’s inner circle, represents a calculated risk.

“If Mr. Putin is being kept in the dark by his Ministry of Defense, when he does learn the truth, when he actually begins to realize how badly his military is doing in Ukraine, you don’t know what kind of reaction that’s going to cause in him,” said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “There’s a real potential here for escalation.”

Western officials will watch closely in the coming days to see whether more Russian troops move to eastern Ukraine, and whether Russia expands its military draft to conscript more soldiers. Putin is expected to make that decision by April 1.

Still it’s unclear whether more soldiers would give the Kremlin a strategic advantage over the passionate, mobilized Ukrainian resistance.

“No amount of spin can mask what the world has witnessed over the past month,” Kirby said at a briefing Tuesday. “And that’s the courage and the military prowess of Ukraine’s armed forces and its people.”

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



Dow futures are little changed ahead of last day of March

Stock futures were slightly higher in overnight trading Wednesday ahead of the last trading day of the month and quarter.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average was near flat. S&P 500 futures ticked up 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.3%.

Stocks are coming off a down session Wednesday in which the Dow and S&P 500 each snapped four-day win streaks. The Dow shed 65.38 points, or 0.2%. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq lost 1.2%.

Rising oil prices loomed over equities, with U.S. crude prices climbing more than 3% on Wednesday. Germany warned of potential rationing of natural gas due to disputes with Russia, and U.S. crude stockpiles fell.

“We’re going to be bouncing around between good news and bad news, unfortunately,” said George Mateyo, Key Private Bank chief investment officer. “That’s going to create some volatility.”

Higher oil prices boosted energy stocks, comprising the top-performing S&P 500 sector on Wednesday.

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

Investors are awaiting weekly jobless claims and personal income and spending data to be released Thursday morning.

Walgreens Boots Alliance also reports quarterly results before the bell Thursday.

Thursday marks the last trading day of March and of the first quarter. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on pace to finish the month up about 5% each, while the Dow is nearly 4% higher in March.

For the year, the Dow and S&P 500 are both down about 3% and the Nasdaq is off more than 7%.



Will Smith refused to leave Oscars, faces disciplinary action for slapping Chris Rock

Will Smith (R) hits Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, March 27, 2022.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Will Smith was asked to leave the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony Sunday after slapping presenter Chris Rock, but refused, according to a new statement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Wednesday.

The organization behind the Oscars said its board of governors have initiated a disciplinary proceeding against Smith for violating the group’s standards of conduct. During the board’s next meeting on April 18 it will decide what action it will take, if any, including suspension or expulsion.

“Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television,” The Academy said in its statement. “Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”

The incident occurred during the latter half of the ceremony when Rock told several jokes ahead of announcing the winner for best documentary. One joke was aimed at Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, which prompted her spouse, Smith, to march up to the stage and slap Rock.

ABC cut out the mics just as the two started shouting at each other, but uncensored international feeds picked up the two stars yelling profanities at each other.

For days audiences have speculated why Smith was not removed from the ceremony after the altercation. It’s unclear exactly how or when he was asked to leave, but, ultimately, he remained at the Dolby Theater and accepted the award for best actor later in the evening.

The Academy said it recognizes “we could have handled the situation differently.”

Rock has yet to address the incident, but will make his first public appearance Wednesday night in Boston where he set to perform two back-to-back shows at the Wilbur Theatre. The anticipation has sent second-market ticket sales soaring.

Read the full statement from the Academy:

The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.

Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.

Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.

Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.



U.S. sends 100 killer drones called Switchblades to Ukraine

WASHINGTON – The U.S. included 100 killer drones in a colossal weapons package for Ukraine that President Joe Biden approved earlier this month, U.S. officials confirmed Wednesday.

Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs, told lawmakers that Kyiv asked for the weapons, which are dubbed “kamikaze drones,” as it fights off a Russian invasion.

“We have committed 100 Switchblade tactical unmanned aerial systems to be delivered in the most recent package of presidential drawdown,” Wallander said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

AeroVironment Switchblade 600 Drone

Courtesy: AeroVironment

“We’ve heard the Ukrainians and we take that request very seriously,” she said.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters last week that the drones would arrive in Ukraine soon. He declined to elaborate further.

The decision to equip Ukraine with killer drones, dubbed Switchblade, follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s request to U.S. lawmakers for additional military equipment.

Deploying Switchblades to the fight in Ukraine could be the most significant use of the weapons in combat, as it is not clear how often the U.S. military has used the killer drones on the battlefield.

AeroVironment, the U.S.-based firm that manufactures the weapon, declined to comment on the arms transfer.

‘Kamikaze drones’

There are two variants of the weapon, the Switchblade 300 and the 600. It was not immediately clear which version the U.S. deployed to Ukraine.

The 300 variant is designed to strike small targets. It can fit in a rucksack, weighs a little over 5 pounds and has a range of 10 miles.

The 600 version of the weapon is designed to destroy tanks and other armored vehicles. It weighs slightly more than 120 pounds and has a range of more than 40 miles.

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The Switchblades are equipped with cameras, navigation systems and guided explosives. The weapons can be programmed to automatically strike targets that are miles away or can loiter above a target until engaged by an operator to strike.

Both the 300 and 600 weapons system is destroyed after striking the desired target. Each Switchblade is a single-use or a “kamikaze” drone.

The weapons systems are considered cheaper than the combination of firing a Hellfire missile, manufactured by defense giant Lockheed Martin, from General Atomics’ MQ-9 Reaper drone. The Switchblade 300 is estimated to cost as little as $6,000, according to an NBC News report.