Updated from 7:01 a.m. EDT
It goes without saying that most are feeling the crunch of soaring gas and food prices. That was the reason
reported a $56 million first-quarter loss. Sales of clothing, home appliances and products for lawn and garden care took a notable hit. Same-store sales fell 9.8% domestically. The loss didn't stack up well against expectations or when compared with adjusted profits of $1.15 a share in the same period last year.
The economic squeeze felt by consumers is not hurting all retail.
says net income rose to $295.1 million, or 67 cents a share, from $224 million, or 49 cents a share, a year ago. The reults included a $30.3 million charge. The mega-retailer, employing more than 130,000, can attribute its third-quarter profit climb to penny-pinching consumers seeking deals on food and toiletries.
On the global front, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization reported on Thursday that world food prices are set to fall from current peaks in the coming years but will remain "substantially above" average levels from the past decade. The report is based on a forecast of the cereals, oilseeds, sugar, meats, milk and dairy products markets for the period 2008 to 2017.
And we also witnessed a better-than-expected GDP number, coming in at 0.9% growth for the first quarter vs. the prior estimate of 0.6%. While not great, it certainly doesn't scream recession.
With all of this news out there, we thought we'd take a look at yesterday's most-searched stocks on
and find out what
These stocks could be in the news for a number of reasons. Some require immediate attention; others may not. Regardless, it never hurts to hear what Cramer (or any of the other professional investors on the site) has to say about them. The key is to gather as much information as you can to make the most informed investment decisions you can.
Oil prices and GDP numbers are dominating the news, but we'll kick it off today with
Cramer recently broke down the situation in
It is time. It is time for Lehman to put up its defense. Not the talking one. But the one it used in 1998 when everyone thought it was a goner. It needs to go in and start buying its stock. Think about it. If Lehman is right and self-styled nemesis David Einhorn from Greenlight Capital is wrong about the firm needing capital, this has to be one of the greatest buying opportunities Richard Fuld, the CEO, has ever had. Not since 1998, when he bid me $31 for a million shares in order to take advantage of the endless raids that his firm had because of alleged problems in London, has Richard Fuld had such a great chance to make a statement. But here's the flip side. Without such a vow and show of not just confidence but opportunity, the market is going to determine that Greenlight is right and the spiral will be endless. We know what happens when a company needs capital. You get a Washington Mutual (WM) - Get Report, a Nat City (NCC) , an AIG (AIG) - Get Report or worse, a Bear (BSC) . We all know this. We also know that these companies are surprisingly easy to break in a world where money is fungible. Still, there is worth here. Lots of worth. I know that the earnings power has been impaired, but I do not believe the capitalization is impaired. I don't know if that is the case unless I see a buyback. It is what makes Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report different. Why now? Because the stock is clearly down artificially if Einhorn's wrong. A panic valuation. The silence of the non-buys is speaking every bit as loudly as Einhorn against this great institution.
Next on the list is
Cramer broke down that situation in
If you think the disclosure is bad for these financial insurers here, it is every bit as poor over there in the U.K., where we just learned that housing prices dropped the most ever on record. Most of the major monoline insurers, and of course AIG, have exposure to Britain in ways that we are all too familiar with over here. The only difference is that I believe the trajectory was considered far more certain over there than here. AIG in particular bragged about this business in December, to show their diversification away from the U.S. Kind of like how Bear bragged that by putting a lot of different mortgages together from Florida and California and the rest of the country and varying their ratings you have created a wondrous, diversified instrument called a CDO. Yesterday, Erin Burnett, my partner in "Stop Trading" on CNBC, asked me about all of those assets that AIG has, like the great Chinese business, the leasing business and the like. They are all great businesses. But Citigroup (C) - Get Report had great businesses, and they weren't enough to offset the losses. AIG's looking a lot like Citigroup -- lots of assets generating a solid return that is easily wiped out by the magnification of losses through leverage. Or, in English, AIG is better than an Ambac (ABK) or an MBIA (MBI) - Get Report for certain, but that doesn't mean you have to own the darned thing.
For more of Cramer's opinions on yesterday's most-searched stocks, including including
Procter & Gamble
, check out the
portfolio at Stockpickr.com.
(Editor's note: At the time of original publication of his posts and shows, Cramer owned Sears for his Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust. Cramer is a featured commentator for
, which is owned by General Electric; as part of his contract, Cramer holds restricted shares in GE.
Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com.