Innovation drives capitalism and vise-versa, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday, as he turned his sights on the JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report Healthcare Conference, the annual event being held this week in San Francisco -- a region Cramer describes as the headquarters for technological innovation.
The event showcases more than 450 presentations from the leaders in healthcare sector.
Cramer said he's anxious to hear from companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) - Get Report and its terrific oncology franchise, and from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Get Report, which is innovating on many fronts, including a new vaccine for shingles.
He also said he's looking forward to hearing how CVS Health (CVS) - Get Report is innovating with new store layouts that combine the clinic, pharmacy and store. Then there are companies like GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPH) - Get Report, which is pioneering entirely new types of drugs based on cannabis.
Too often, when people think about innovation, they only think about technology with companies like Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, or maybe cybersecurity. But while Cramer said he's still a fan of tech, there's still plenty of innovation to go around, especially in the areas that matter most, like our health.
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Executive Decision: Zoetis
For his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Kristin Peck, CEO of Zoetis (ZTS) - Get Report, the animal health company that's riding the humanization of pets wave. Shares of Zoetis are up 219% over the past five years and Peck noted that total shareholder return has topped 330% since their IPO.
Innovation is the lifeblood of Zoetis, Peck said, which is why the company has invested $1.1 billion in research and development. Over the past five years, the company has introduced 1,100 new products and services. Peck was excited about new products, such as Zoetis' combination treatment for fleas, ticks, heartworm and other parasites, which recently received approval in the EU.
Peck also commented on the severity of African swine flu, a disease which has destroyed more than half of China's hog population. She said the disease highlights the importance of biosecurity, which includes vaccines, diagnostics and testing to keep animal populations safe and secure. She said the epidemic is an opportunity for the rest of the world to step in and help fill the void until the Chinese can get swine flu under control.
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Executive Decision: GlaxoSmithKline
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Emma Walmsley, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) - Get Report, the drugmaker with shares up 19% over the past year with a 4.3% dividend yield.
Walmsley said GlaxoSmithKline continues to see progress and momentum and the company is generating a lot of positive data for patients. The company is the leading provider of vaccines around the globe and Walmsley was especially proud of a new vaccine for shingles, a painful disease that affects nearly one in three people over the age of 50. GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine provides 95% protection and has already been administered to over 11 million patients.
When asked about those who don't trust vaccines, Walmsley said the data prove that vaccines have a tremendous positive impact on human health and Glaxo is proud to be a leader in preventing disease. That said, she acknowledged that parents have questions when it comes to their children and vaccine makers need to do a better job educating.
Glaxo is also innovating in oncology with their acquisition of Tesoro, as well as with respiratory illnesses like COPD.
Executive Decision: CVS Health
For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with Larry Merlo, president and CEO of CVS Health, the drugstore chain that trades for just 10 times earnings.
Merlo said CVS is reinventing the drugstore for today's consumer, making it personal, making it local and making it about wellness. CVS serves over 4.5 million customers every day and aims to do even more with lots of new innovations.
CVS's new HealthHUB repurposes 20% of the front of the store and dedicates it to many of the services you'd see your doctor for. The clinics turn CVS from a store into a destination, Merlo said, and the company aims to have 600 HealthHUBs in operation be the end of 2020 and 1,500 by the end of 2021.
Merlo was also bullish on his company's acquisition of Aetna in 2018. He said the combined company is already providing better outcomes for their patients and there's no denying that pharmacy benefit managers are helping to lower costs.
When asked about the company's debt, Merlo said CVS has already repaid $8 billion and his company has ample cash to both pay down debt and reinvest in its business.
Stocks Moving on the News
It's always good to see winners rallying on good news and Monday's market didn't disappoint, Cramer told viewers. Shares of Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report rallied on news that the Chinese will not end their subsidies for electric vehicles as planned. That's great news for Tesla, which plans to manufacture 250,000 cars in China.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU) - Get Report shot up 4.4% on an earnings preannouncement that caught the shorts off guard. Many were taking their cues from soft sales at Kohl's (KSS) - Get Report, but athletic apparel is alive and well at Lulu and estimates will need to be raised.
Cramer said investors have also been wrong about Beyond Meat (BYND) - Get Report, assuming that the company's partnership with McDonald's (MCD) - Get Report had gone cold. But today McDonald's announced that it was expanding its trial to more locations.
Some stocks rallied on no good news, Cramer added. Investors were bullish on Salesforce.com (CRM) - Get Report, Adobe System (ADBE) - Get Report and Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report, while strength in Apple sent component makers like Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) - Get Report higher by the close.
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, BMY, CVS, AAPL, KSS, CRM, NVDA.