This is the week when we learn if the real world is impacting the stock world, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. Today, we saw just a small preview, Cramer said, but if the downward trend continues, things could get ugly.
The rubber will meet the road Tuesday, when we'll get earnings from three banks, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report, Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report and Citigroup (C) - Get Report. Both JPMorgan and Wells Fargo could have bad loans, with Wells Fargo being especially vulnerable. Citigroup has already suspended its buyback, removing one of the main reasons to own the stock.
On Wednesday, we'll hear from another financial, Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report, an Action Alerts PLUS holding and a company Cramer said has the firepower to withstand the effects of the pandemic. He was also bullish on UnitedHealth Group (UNH) - Get Report, the health plan provider that has been benefiting from delayed medical procedures.
Thursday brings earnings from Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report and Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report and Cramer was bullish on both names. He was also upbeat of four others reporting earnings, namely Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report, Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) - Get Report, Domino's Pizza (DPZ) - Get Report and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report.
Finally, on Friday, Cramer said he's worried about the earnings at BlackRock (BLK) - Get Report, but he would be a buyer of First Horizon National (FHN) - Get Report, which is off 46% for the year and now yields north of 6%.
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Crown Castle International
What should investors do with their shares of cell tower operator, Crown Castle (CCI) - Get Report, now that activist investors, Elliott Management, have taken a $1 billion stake in the company and are demanding changes? Cramer weighed in with his opinion.
Crown Castle management recently appeared on Mad Money and told a great story. The company is one of the nation's largest cell tower owners and has also been investing heavily in fiber and small-cell locations to support the upcoming 5G transition. It's the latter that Elliott has taken issue with.
Crown Castle has invested $16 billion in its fiber business, money that Elliott claims would have been better spent investing in faster-growing cell towers. Cramer said he can't argue that the money would have generated better returns investing in towers, but he added that Crown Castle now has a huge leg up on its rivals when it comes to small-cell locations. He said the company must do a better job explaining their strategy and should work on a compromise with Elliott.
As for shareholders, they benefit either way, Cramer concluded. He said Elliott has an excellent track record, as does the management at Crown Castle.
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What's New in Masks?
In the fight against COVID-19, one thing is clear, masks are one of our most effective weapons. That's why Cramer met with Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report, Peter Diamandis, founder of XPRIZE, and Darius Adamczyk, chairman and CEO at Honeywell (HON) - Get Report, to discuss a new contest to develop the next generation of face masks, ones that everyone will want to wear.
Benioff noted that if everyone in the U.S. wore a mask for just three weeks with 100% compliance, COVID-19 could be eliminated from our country. But people have many issues with our current masks, calling them hot, uncomfortable and difficult to wear.
That's why Diamandis said the XPRIZE has created a contest encouraging young people to submit their designs for masks that are functional and culturally cool to wear. Everything is crazy until it becomes a breakthrough, he said.
Adamczyk added that the N95 masks that Honeywell makes are the most effective for stopping the spread of COVID-19 but, he admitted, they're not overly comfortable and are certainly not stylish. That's why he joined the contest to make the next generation of masks that everyone will want to wear into production.
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Off the Tape: Ellevest
In his "Off The Tape" segment, Cramer spoke with Sallie Krawcheck, founder and CEO of the privately-held Ellevest, a company helping women, and now also minorities, become better investors and make a difference with their investments.
Krawcheck called our current recession a "she-cession" because it is disproportionately affecting women. She said women are losing their jobs at a faster rate than men, they have less net worth than their male counterparts and more women are deemed essential, which means they are putting their lives on the line more than men.
Ellevest is helping women have an investment plan, Krawcheck said, and using that plan to build wealth in a diversified way that makes a difference and promotes equality. Krawcheck said she's worked hard to bring different voices to the Ellevest table, ones with different experiences that can benefit everyone.
The Wild Bunch
In his "No-Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer offered up his opinions on four stocks he deemed "The Wild Bunch," a group of high-fliers that all pulled back in Monday's decline. The wild bunch included Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report, Netflix, Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report and Livongo Health (LVGO) - Get Report.
Cramer said Amazon was built for this moment and provides the best customer service and the services companies need to live in the cloud. He said the company deserves its $1.5 trillion valuation. The same with Tesla, which announced its "battery day" will be held in just two months. Who knows what innovations the company will unveil?, but Cramer said it justifies the move in the stock.
As for Netflix, this company has had doubters every step of the way, but now its entertainment is essential to our stay-at-home lives. Finally, Cramer said that Livongo Health is also essential for those with chronic health issues that need a coach to manage their care. He said he'd be a buyer of all four of these stocks on any market weakness.
Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Monday evening:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in JPM, GS, JNJ, AMZN.