1. Consumer price index in December matched expectations pretty much across the board. That’s why stocks struggled to mount a rally. Bouncing initially between positive and negative territory. I see signs in the report that some of the inflation numbers may be too strong versus reality.
2. To be sure, though, the CPI print is good news, ending 2022 down 0.1% month over month and up 6.5% year over year. Ex-food and energy core rose 0.3% month over month and up 5.7% year over year. We really wanted to see more of a cooling.
3. American Airlines (AAL) raises profit and sales estimates. Earnings-per-share are now seen at $1.12 to $1.17 in the fourth quarter. That’s more than double the previous forecast at the low end. This is where the hot part of the economy really is.
4. Club holding Disney (DIS) proxy fight by activist investor Nelson Peltz, why and what can be done? Peltz, a major Disney shareholder, says the company lost its way, and he wants to work with just-returned CEO Bob Iger to right the ship.
5. Walmart (WMT) gets into business with Club holding Salesforce (CRM) to sell more of its GoLocal delivery service and Store Assist to other retailers. The tech will be offered in the spring via Salesforce.
6. Rank meme-stock speculation is back with the gunning of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), even as the retailer is struggling; put out a going concern notice; layoffs. The company should declare or ready 100 million shares to do Chapter 11 bankruptcy, not Chapter 7.
7. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM) says autos will get the chips they need from them. The shortage is over. In the meantime, they predict a downturn and then an upturn.
8. Subway considering selling itself in a deal that would value the sandwich chain at $10 billion. Privately held Subway has 37,000 stores in 100 countries. Same-store sales up 8.4% in the third quarter.
9. Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD) downgraded to sell at UBS and to hold at Deutsche Bank; price targets cut. Instead, we like and own Corona, Modelo and Pacifico maker Constellation Brands (STZ), which has the fastest-growing beer franchise with a strong December; taking share.
(See here for a full list of the stocks in Jim Cramer’s Charitable Trust.)
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