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The current situation looks a lot like 1990 did at the bottom of one of the worst recessions the market has ever seen, Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Wednesday.

Cramer urged investors to take a page out of the playbook he used then, and look for stocks to buy.

In 1990, Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia bought a major stake in


(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

, a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust,

Action Alerts PLUS, to make it solvent, he said. This time Abu Dhabi is buying a small stake in the bank.

In a similar vein, the


finds itself in the same situation it was in then, when it realized it had to get involved and ease rates. Moreover, as the financials collapsed over a six-month period in 1990, the


declined 11% and bottomed, Cramer said. Right now the index is down by more than 10%.

During 1990, colossal banks merged, Cramer said. Today, market players learned

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corporation Report

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is talking about getting together with Citigroup.

All of these signs mean the financials are beginning to bottom now, Cramer said.

"We've been operating on the 1990s playbook for months in Cramerica and we cannot ignore it now," he said. Not everything bottomed in 1990 and not everything will bottom now, but people must get more positive and look for things to buy, Cramer said.

In 1990, Citigroup worked, but right now

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (The) Report

, which he also owns for his charitable trust, is the best of the financials and should be bought, Cramer said. People should also consider getting into


(AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report


Research In Motion




(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report


For the short term,

Intuitive Surgical

(ISRG) - Get Intuitive Surgical Inc. Report



(AMZN) - Get Inc. Report

work, he added.

Cramer also said he sees a hidden trend in natural gas. There his favorite plays are


(HAL) - Get Halliburton Company Report


XTO Energy


, which he owns for Action Alerts PLUS, Cramer said.

Furthermore, in the video-game arena, he said he likes

Electronic Arts




(ATVI) - Get Activision Blizzard Inc Report


"The 1990 playbook hasn't steered us wrong yet," Cramer said. It's time to spend less time worrying about losing money and spend more time looking for opportunities.

Gen-Probe an Exciting Story

If market players want "protection combined with a really long-term trend," the best place to look is diagnostics, Cramer said. "These stocks are the holy grail of defense

and are the ultimate health care-cost containment names out there."


(GPRO) - Get GoPro Inc. Report

, which has a fast technology for detecting infectious microorganisms, is a diagnostics company Cramer likes.

Recently, the company's trial of a new HPV test was pushed back a quarter, and its food-testing deal with partner


(MMM) - Get 3M Company Report

fell apart, Cramer said. Consequently, the stock went from $72 to $65.

Cramer brought on Henry Nordhoff, the CEO of Gen-Probe, to explain what happened with 3M.

"3M is a fantastic company,

but we just had a difference of opinion," Nordhoff said.

After doing some research, 3M believed that when its and Gen-Probe's profits were added to the cost of making the food-testing product, the price point would be too high, the chief said. However, half the food processors in the business hold inventory while they're waiting for test results, and Nordhoff believes these companies would be willing to pay more to offset the cost of food going bad because of delays.

Further, the HPV test has become a problem only because the Food and Drug Administration keeps changing its rules and trying to come up with a gold standard for HPV testing, Nordhoff said.

These two negatives are why the stock has come down, Cramer said, and they already are priced into Gen-Probe. However, the positives of two tests the company has for prostate cancer are not priced in, he said. Therefore, the stock should go up.

Cramer called Gen-Probe "a very exciting" story that is also safe.

Am I Diversified?

During the "Am I Diversified?" game, Cramer's first caller named the following five stocks: Intuitive Surgical,





(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report






(HOLX) - Get Hologic Inc. Report

, a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust.

Cramer suggested the caller get out of Intuitive Surgical or Hologic and pick up a defensive stock instead.

The second caller asked if he was diversified with these five plays:


(ING) - Get ING Group N.V. Report



(GOOG) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report



(BUD) - Get Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA Sponsored ADR (Belgium) Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corporation Report


Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Sirius XM Holdings Inc. Report


Cramer said the caller shouldn't have two banks in his portfolio. He advised the caller to sell ING and pick up a defensive play.

The last caller said she owned these five:

Kraft Foods










(GRMN) - Get Garmin Ltd. (Switzerland) Report



(PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report


Cramer blessed the portfolio as diversified.

Sudden Death

During the "Sudden Death" round, Cramer was bullish on

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar Inc. Report




, and


(CVS) - Get CVS Health Corporation Report

, which he owns for his charitable trust, and AT&T.

He was bearish on

Evergreen Solar



American Oriental Bioengineering



China Nepstar Chain Drugstore



Virgin Mobile



Mad Mail

During the "Mad Mail" segment, when an

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get The ODP Corporation Report

employee asked if he should keep buying ODP stock as it gets cheaper. Cramer recommended against it and told him to diversify his holdings.

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Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on

First Solar

(FSLR) - Get First Solar Inc. Report



(COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report


Blue Coat Systems




(BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report


XTO Energy




(COP) - Get ConocoPhillips Report



(NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report



(GRMN) - Get Garmin Ltd. (Switzerland) Report


Yum! Brands

(YUM) - Get Yum! Brands Inc. Report


Chipotle Mexican Grill

(CMG) - Get Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. Report


Layne Christensen



Cramer was bearish on

LDK Solar



TXCO Resources



Smithfield Foods



American Railcar

(ARII) - Get American Railcar Industries, Inc. Report


Want more Cramer? Check out Jim's rules and commandments for investing from his latest book by

clicking here


For more of Cramer's insights during the Lightning Round, click here


At the time of publication, Cramer was long Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Hologic, CVS Caremark, XTO Energy and ConocoPhillips.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.