The only thing we have to fear are the facts, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday, and when it comes to the coronavirus, the facts aren't looking good.
Cramer said he'd love to be more aggressive and buy into the market's weakness, but he won't feel better until stocks head even lower.
Investors must hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, even after the markets plunged 6.6% in two days. The bond market is signaling an economic slowdown, Cramer said, and stocks take their cues from bonds.
That's why Cramer continued to recommend investors raise cash into strength so they can be prepared to buy when the bottom comes. Nothing appears to be safe at the moment, with stocks like Activision Blizzard (ATVI) - Get Report falling 4.4% and MasterCard (MA) - Get Report plunging 6.7%. "If it can happen to them, it can happen to anyone," he said.
What is safe to buy? Cramer continues to look towards the utilities like Dominion Energy (D) - Get Report and American Electric Power (AEP) - Get Report, as well as the "Three Musketeers" of the coronavirus, Zoom Video (ZM) - Get Report, Moderna (MRNA) - Get Report and Gilead Sciences (GILD) - Get Report.
Cramer and the AAP team say this situation is all about discipline. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts Plus.
Executive Decision: Mastercard
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Ajay Banga and Michael Miebach, the outgoing and incoming (respectively) CEOs of MasterCard. Miebach is currently Mastercard's Chief Product Officer.
Banga said he's had a great run over the past 10 years, but knowing when to step aside is just as important as knowing when to step in. MasterCard has a deep bench of top executives that know their business and their culture and are ready to step in when needed.
Miebach said that while MasterCard is seen largely as an old payment processor, the company is forging ahead with digital commerce as well. PayPal (PYPL) - Get Report is one of their largest customers, he said, and MasterCard partnered with Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report to introduce the AppleCard, which customers love. There are still plenty of places for MasterCard to explore, he added, including car payments, B2B payments and voice commerce, just to name a few.
Banga concluded by talking about MasterCard's "DQ" or decency quotient, a concept he pioneered to help employees understand that they can do well and do good at the same time. He said the DQ has been instrumental in helping to create MasterCard's corporate culture, which is one of the things he's most proud of.
Executive Decision: Salesforce.com
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report, which just reported another solid quarter on an otherwise ugly day in the markets.
Benioff said Salesforce is exceeding expectations and its guidance for the rest of the year is amazing. He also commented on the news that co-CEO Keith Block will be stepping down by saying that Block has been a great friend and partner and he wishes him well on his next adventure.
Turning back to the quarter, Benioff noted some of Salesforce's biggest deals, which included Volkswagen, 3M (MMM) - Get Report and Goldman Sachs. He said every company needs a single source of truth for their customers and Salesforce is the best place to manage customer information.
When asked about the coronavirus, Benioff said we are only in the beginning stages of this humanitarian crisis and he's in talks with many CEOs about doing the right thing and offering help where help is needed most.
On Real Money, Cramer keys in on the companies and CEOs he knows best. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Off the Charts: Industrials
Collins looked at a weekly chart of Intel, noting the stock's bullish flag pattern, which failed to hold Monday. That means with shares below their 10-week moving average, the ceilings of resistance at $64 and $68 are looking daunting. The chart looks eerily similar to the stock's breakdown last April.
Caterpillar's weekly chart is equally nefarious. The stock is seeing slowing volume and its 10-week moving average is about to cross below its 20-week moving average. Below $130 a share, the stock could be in real trouble.
Cramer said he agrees with Collins. Stocks are not oversold and there's more downside ahead.
Executive Decision: Wex
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Melissa Smith, chairwoman and CEO of Wex WEX, the fleet service company with a stock that's off 12% from its highs last week.
Smith said Wex has grown a lot since her last appearance on Mad Money. The company has made two acquisitions to help it diversify overseas as well as outside of its core fleet service area. She said while Wex's fleet business accounts for 60% of revenues, only a small fraction of that comes from trucking. The rest, she said, comes from the many small and medium-size businesses, and governments, that have fleets of vehicles.
When asked how Wex makes money, Smith explained they take a small percentage of what's spent at gas stations, but are also expanding into other travel-related expenses as well.
Finally, Smith said that while the coronavirus is beginning to impact people's lives in the short term, she said it's important to remain calm and as leaders, plan for the long term.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Tuesday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL. MA, GS, CRM.