No one is minimizing the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday, but the market today proved that on even the slightest good news, the bull is ready to run again.
Investors were hitting the buy button today partially in hopes that one of several existing drugs might be helpful in reducing the severity of COVID-19. They were also emboldened by news that China appears to be getting back to normal.
The second reason the markets were able to rally was because stocks had gotten severely oversold, Cramer told viewers. Times of extreme panic, like we've seen this week, historically signal the bottom -- and this time might not be any different. That's how a stocks like G-III Apparel (GIII) was able to rally 69% by the close.
Finally, Cramer said that Thursday's rally was likely fueled by hedge fund liquidations yesterday that caused firms to sell at any price. We may never know for sure, but then the selling happens that voraciously, someone almost always is being forced to sell.
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Investors must be prepared for more ugly headlines, Cramer cautioned viewers. We're likely to see many more cases of the coronoavirus, as well as news of failed drug trials and vaccines -- and countless bankruptcies. But once the smoke clears, and it will clear eventually, there will be companies worthy of investing in.
The stay-at-home economy is here to stay and that's great news for Zoom Video (ZM) . Cramer said cybersecurity will be more in demand than ever, which means stocks like Okta (OKTA) and CrowdStrike (CRWD) will be buys. And all of our technology needs to run on 5G wireless, which is why he'd buy Qualcomm (QCOM) , and Verizon (VZ) , with its 4.6% yield.
Cramer would also buy food delivery king Domino's (DPZ) , which soared 11% Thursday. Docusign (DOCU) also made Cramer's buy list, as did Teledoc (TDOC) and the gaming stocks of Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO)
Last of all, Netflix (NFLX) remains the go-to name for entertainment when you're forced to stay at home.
Executive Decision: Verizon
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Hans Vestburg, chairman and CEO of Verizon (VZ) , to learn how the telco giant is handling the work-at-home economy.
Vestburg said that Verizon's network is always changing and adapting, but over the part week, they've seen a 75% increase in gaming traffic, a 30% increase in VPN traffic, 20% in overall web traffic and a 12% surge in streaming. He said that Verizon has a robust network that is always prepared for unexpected events, and can adapt to changing conditions.
When asked about the coming 5G wireless, Vestburg said that 5G is a vastly superior mobile experience and will usher in all types of applications and services for consumers.
Turning to the topic of their financial strength, Vestburg said Verizon's balance sheet is strong and its capital allocation priorities are to invest in its network, pay its dividend, reduce debts and to buy back shares.
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Executive Decision: VMware
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Sanjay Poonen, COO of VMware (VMW) a stock that's been cut in half from its highs.
VMware provides virtualization software that powers the critical apps that companies depend on, Poonen explained. Whether you're working at home, attending classes online or are a hospital, retailer or a bank, there's a good chance that some of the apps you're using run on VMware's software.
Poonen said part of our life will change forever after this pandemic passes. He said millions of people are learning that remote work is possible and that you can still be productive even if you're not at the office. There's a good chance that people will travel less from now on.
When asked about 5G wireless, Poonen commented that the amount of bandwidth customers have is always a critical component to the services they can use. That's why VMware has partnered with telcos and service providers to help optimize the next generation of computing that is almost here.
Executive Decision: Zscaler
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with with Jay Chaudhry, chairman CEO of Zscaler (ZS) , the cybersecurity company with shares up 11% for the year.
Chaudhry said Zscaler has been very busy helping customers navigate the work-from-home world. He said no one likes the old VPNs of the past, but Zscaler makes it easy for employees to connect no matter where they are.
Zscaler also helps protect employees from phishing and malware attacks, keeping them and their companies safe. Chaudhry said it's gratifying to see the world moving into a future where people can connect no matter where they are.
When asked about whether our Internet can handle everyone working from home, Chaudhry said given the distributed nature of the Internet, it should be able to handle these new challenges without too much strain.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Thursday evening:
InMode (INMD) : "I like this one. This is in the sweet spot."
Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) : "I'd get out of the oil patch."
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AMZN, COST.