Investors need to be in theme stocks, not meme stocks, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. Stick with well-run companies that work no matter what happens with the pandemic.
We're in a tricky moment in the stock market, Cramer explained. Vaccines are beginning to pick up steam and the end of the pandemic might soon be in sight. But in the meantime, things might get a lot worse. That's why you're starting to see investors begin to sell the stay-at-home "nesting" stocks and start buying the "reopening" stocks that will thrive when we return to normal.
But rather than try and thread that needle, Cramer said he's looking for stock that have excellent management and can thrive in any environment. Stocks like Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report have surprised investors by doubling down on streaming, but the company will also flourish once movies, theme parks and sports are back in operation. Then there's Boeing (BA) - Get Report, a company that's been using the pandemic to improve its operations so it will also emerge from the shutdown even stronger.
As for those nesting stocks, Cramer said he's still a fan of Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report, even with founder Jeff Bezos planning to leave his CEO position for the executive chairman role. He also felt Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report is well-positioned for the return of economic activity.
As for those meme stocks, Cramer said he's not a fan of theater chain AMC (AMC) - Get Report, even though it's also a reopening stock. The company is poorly run and has a bad balance sheet, he said, making other reopening stocks far more attractive.
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Executive Decision: Chipotle Mexican Grill
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Brian Niccol, chairman and CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - Get Report, the burrito chain with shares that just hit new all-time highs as digital orders continue to surge.
Niccol said while 2020 was a challenging year for Chipotle, it was also one that demonstrated their resilience and the power of their digital operations. He said ordering online for in-store pickup is the most profitable way for customers to order from Chipotle, but they're still eager to reopen dining rooms and give everyone the opportunity to enjoy a social experience as well.
Looking ahead in 2021, Niccol said Chipotle plans to open more than 200 new locations for the year, which will be a nice change after a slowdown in 2020.
Finally, Niccol noted that they continue to work with multiple delivery companies and models in an effort to find the right balance that everyone can benefit from the new digital economy.
Chipotle will once again be advertising in this year's Super Bowl. Niccol said the ad will highlight "food with integrity" and everything that Chipotle stands for.
Executive Decision: UPS
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also spoke with Carol Tome, CEO of UPS (UPS) - Get Report, the shipping giant that just posted a 52-cents-a-share earnings beat after a strong holiday quarter.
Tome said UPS continues to transform its operations and this quarter was able to increase revenue faster than volumes, a credit to their entire team. She said UPS delivered 97% service levels throughout the holiday quarter all while increasing productivity.
Productivity is the name of the game, especially given that demand outstrips supply in the small package business. That's why UPS is working with all of its shipping partners to increase productivity even higher to meet the growing demand.
When asked how our country is doing with vaccine shipments, Tome gave us a good report card. She said UPS has delivered over 225,000 vaccine shipments with 99.99% accuracy so far. UPS is delivering vaccines from manufacturer to dosing centers in less than 20 hours, all while maintaining the very cold temperatures required.
Executive Decision: Norfolk Southern
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in Jim Squires, chairman and CEO of Norfolk Southern (NSC) - Get Report, the railroad that posted a 16-cent-a-share earnings beat when it reported last week.
Squires said the Norfolk Southern has made a remarkable transformation over the years. When the railroad first started, 30% of their volume was coal, but now, the company transports the goods to support our consumer economy including autos, consumer goods and intermodal shipments. He reminded viewers that rail is the most fuel efficient way to transport goods and is far better than trucks when it comes to carbon emissions.
When asked how they've weathered the pandemic, Squires said after taking an initial hit, Norfolk Southern was able to move quickly to cut costs and increase productivity. In fact, the company just completed its fifth year in a row with productivity gains. The railroad continues to repurchase its own shares with its excess cash flow.
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In his No-Huddle Offense segment, Cramer finally answered the question, is Wall Street rigged against the little guy?
Cramer said "rigged" is the wrong word to describe Wall Street. "Risky" is a better word. The old adage "caveat emptor" or "buyer beware" has always applied to investing. The fact is, those people who have knowledge have an advantage over those who do not.
That's why only those who truly understand how a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) can perform a reverse merger to bring a speculative electric vehicle startup with no products or earnings to market should be investing in these deals. For everyone else, it's risky.
The same applies to those hedge funds who decided to sell short 148% of GameStop's (GME) - Get Report available shares. It's risky. That's why you cannot blame a group of Reddit users for also taking a risk and exposing what was always a risky way to make a profit.
Here's what Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Tuesday evening:
GreenPower Motor (GP) : "Be careful. They don't have any earnings and this is a crowded group. It's just OK."
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in DIS, AMZN, GOOGL.