Tuesday, December 11, 2018


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U.S.-based technology companies with business in China automatically lost value on news of the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who has reportedly been accused of violating U.S. sanctions, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday.

Apple or Micron or Intel or Skyworks or Qualcomm or Broadcom, is worth a little less today than it was yesterday,” Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” told investors.

But there’s one stock that could benefit if the arrest somehow forces Chinese officials to the table and leads them to roll back tariffs on U.S. goods, he said.

Tesla is a winner if China is serious about lowering trade barriers, but I don’t think they’re serious about anything,” Cramer told a caller. “And if you really like Tesla, then I’ve got to tell you, you have to like the car and the stock. It is a cult stock. I’m not there. I like cloud kings that trade at big valuations. I like Amazon — big valuation. But I’m not a Tesla guy.”

Click here to read more of Cramer’s take on how tech stocks might be affected by the Huawei arrest.

The Fed's 4 inflationary problems

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve is navigating four trends that it can’t control, but that directly affect its policies, Cramer said Thursday after the stock market recovered from a massive intraday decline.

Stocks mounted a recovery late Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Fed officials are seriously considering taking a wait-and-see approach to the central bank’s 2019 interest rate plans after a widely expected rate hike in December.

But four disruptive trends — decreasing immigration, state-level minimum wage boosts, a nationwide lack of truckers and the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China — are turning into an “awfully awkward situation” for the Fed, which is tasked with keeping inflation under control while keeping the economy humming, Cramer said.

“The Fed is fighting four trends that it doesn’t have any control over that are creating inflation,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Click here to read more.

Yum Brands CEO on Pizza Hut parent's growth strategy

Greg Creed, CEO, Yum Brands 

Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Greg Creed, CEO, Yum Brands 

An unusual motif was strung throughout Wednesday’s Investor Day presentations at Yum Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell and the world’s biggest restaurant operator: “Proud, but dissatisfied.”

A 45,000-restaurant operation spread across 140 countries, Yum Brands has seen its properties gain momentum globally in recent years, culminating in the 2016 spin-off of Yum China. Its brands have gained popularity for their distinct messaging as well as high-profile partnerships with organizations like the National Football League.

But CEO Greg Creed, who sat down with Cramer for an exclusive interview on “Mad Money,” still thinks the Louisville, Kentucky-based operation can do more.

“We have three global, iconic brands. We have incredible scale. We have this global diversity,” he said. “We’re proud of the brands, but we’re dissatisfied because we can get more growth.”

Click here to read more about how Yum plans to leverage e-commerce for growth and to watch Creed’s full interview.

US Concrete CEO on potential for an infrastructure bill

Bill Sandbrook, CEO, US Concrete

Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Bill Sandbrook, CEO, US Concrete

A key U.S. construction facilitator is hopeful that President Donald Trump will still make good on his campaign promise of putting more federal dollars towards U.S. infrastructure.

Bill Sandbrook, the chairman, president and CEO of mass concrete and aggregates producer U.S. Concrete, told CNBC that the 2018 midterm elections gave him “optimism” that a major infrastructure bill could get passed in the near future.

Despite public construction numbers as a percentage of gross domestic product — an important metric for industrials like U.S. Concrete — being historically low, “states are taking things into their own hands” when it comes to construction, the CEO said on “Mad Money.”

“Where people actually get to vote for higher taxes, if they have a direct line of sight to the use for improved infrastructure, they support that,” Sandbrook told Cramer. “[That] still gives me optimism that the next Congress may be even a little bit more friendly to spending money, with a Democratic House, [and] that we will have something in the next two years.”

Click here to watch and read more about Sandbrook’s full interview.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet CEO on benefiting from bankruptcies

Mark Butler, CEO of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Mark Butler, CEO of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings.

High-profile bankruptcies in the retail sector may feel jarring and nostalgic to news readers, but they often amount to major wins for discount retailer Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Holdings, its Chairman and CEO, Mark Butler, told Cramer on Thursday.

“Our business, simply put, has never been better. Our pipeline is full. The phone keeps ringing,” Butler said on “Mad Money,” noting that the Toys R Us liquidation gave holiday sales a boost. “We are locked, we are loaded, we sold a lot of toys, we’re going to sell a lot of toys. We couldn’t be happier.”

Ollie’s has also taken over a number of Toys R Us’ former locations, Butler said.

“We took over 18 Toys R Us sites. We bought 12 and we bought six leases, all at bankruptcy court. We went and we raised our hand,” the CEO said. “We’re really excited about the prospects.”

Click here to watch his full interview.

Lightning round: Don't get funky

In Cramer’s lightning round, he ripped through his responses to callers’ stock questions:

Funko Inc.: “We talked to them. I thought it was an interesting situation. But, you know what, there’s so many great blue-chip stocks that are down that I think we ought to stick with Charles River Labs. Bingo!”

PRA Health Sciences Inc.: “I like the contract research organizations. I like yours. But the one I like is [Charles River Labs].”

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Apple and Amazon.

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