The first quarter is finally over and it was historically bad, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Tuesday. But the second quarter is going to be bad as well, he cautioned, even though there is just as much hope as there is pessimism among investors.
If things get worse with COVID-19, Cramer said the only thing investors can buy are the high-yielding safety stocks like Dominion Energy (D) - Get Report, Southern Company (SO) - Get Report and ConEd (ED) - Get Report. They can also turn toward consumer staples like PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report and drug stocks like Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report.
But if we start winning the war against this virus, then investors can look toward some of the most beaten down names like Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Report, Boeing (BA) - Get Report, Costco (COST) - Get Report, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report and TJX Companies (TJX) - Get Report.
In the meantime, Cramer said our consumer-based economy has been put into a coma, which makes the banks, retail, travel and transportation stocks off limits. You can't touch the oil stocks, or the pipelines or a host of other industries either.
Executive Decision: Palo Alto Networks
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Nikesh Arora, CEO of Palo Alto Networks (PANW) - Get Report, the cybersecurity giant that's helping businesses secure their networks in our new stay-at-home world.
Arora said Palo Alto was among the first companies to send their employees home, so they could prepare themselves for these challenging times. He said the health and safety of their employees comes first, which is why they've pledged to have no layoffs during this time and have donated $4 million to help employees and the communities they serve.
Companies are facing a lot of challenges, Arora said. They've gone from having 5% to 10% of their workforce working remote to 100% of their workforce remote practically overnight. That takes new tools to meet new challenges. Arora noted that Palo Alto has seen over 100,000 new websites registered recently that mention COVID-19, coronavirus or "cure" and the vast majority of them are looking to capitalize on this situation or compromise your security.
Arora said Palo Alto Network's recent acquisition of Cloudgenics for $420 million gives his company even more tools to fight these growing challenges.
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Executive Decision: ConAgra
Connolly said ConAgra is selling everything they can make, which certain brands, like Bird's Eye vegetables, selling out as soon as they're put on store shelves. He said ConAgra has a responsibility to keep America fed and comforted with their brands and they take that responsibility seriously.
Connolly added that while canned goods were among the first items to sell out, snack foods and frozen foods have also been selling swiftly. ConAgra has completely rebuilt their frozen food business and customers will notice all new plant-based packaging, he said, which is helping with their environmental efforts.
When asked about their food service business, which accounts for 10% of revenues, Connolly explained that the strength in packaged foods has more than offset those losses. Online sales, in particular, have been exceptionally strong.
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Executive Decision: AGCO
Richenhagen admitted that these are tough times for everyone, but noted that all of AGCO's U.S.-based factories are operating at capacity. In Europe, some factories were forced to close or reduce hours, he said, but AGCO is back to work in China and still operates in Brazil as well. AGCO continues to provide parts and support for their farmers.
Richenhagen was bullish on the prospects of the U.S. stimulus package providing relief for farmers and he said the secular trend towards plant-based proteins and other plant-based products bodes well for farmers and in turn for AGCO.
A Future Changed
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said we're beginning to see what a post-pandemic world will look like, and one thing is clear: Things will never be the same. He said seeing hospital ships in New York harbor and temporary hospitals being erected in Central Park changes people forever.
While America was caught off guard and is ill-prepared to deal with the coronavirus crisis, we are finally seeing glimmers of hope including the game-changing test kit from Abbott Labs (ABT) - Get Report, which detects the virus in just five minutes. We're also hearing positive news from Johnson & Johnson on a possible vaccine by early next year. Once we have tests, treatments and vaccines, things will change, Cramer said, but not everything. America has realized its shortcomings and needs to get its house in order for the next epidemic.
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 JNJ, PEP, COST, AMZN, AAPL.