Today, the stock market signaled that there may be some hope, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. Unfortunately, tomorrow is another day and investors might not feel as hopeful.
Some experts are predicting a severe collapse of our economy, with up to 32% unemployment and a 25% contraction in GDP. But on Monday, investors chose to focus their attention on something else -- American science.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report announced they will be testing a COVID-19 vaccine by September and could have up to one billion doses available in early 2021. That news sent shares up 8% by the close.
We also learned the FDA approved an anti-malaria treatment for use with COVID-19 patients. Cramer said investors should take the latter with a grain of salt, as the treatment is not for everyone and comes with serious potential side effects.
While we wait for more good news on the treatment and vaccine front, Cramer called on our nation to do more to flatten the infection curve. He advocated a national lockdown, saying it would make a huge difference in how fast we contain the spread.
He also called for a national travel ban and for solving our critical shortage of masks and gowns. Out nation also needs national COVID-19 testing and it needs executives to make a 90-day pledge for no layoffs.
Only with all of these measures will be beat this coronavirus and buy some time until treatments and vaccines are ready, Cramer concluded.
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Executive Decision: Abbott Labs
In his first "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Miles White and Robert Ford, the outgoing and incoming CEOs of Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Report, the drugmaker that announced a new test for COVID-19 that can produce results in as little as five minutes.
Abbott's new rapid test is a game changer for point-of-care testing. The test involves just a nasal swab and five minutes, Ford said, and their ID Now technology will amplify the virus by one billion times so it can be accurately detected. The company is able to process up to 50,000 tests per day and Abbott is working hard to double that capacity.
For now, the test will be limited to front-line workers, like doctors, nurses and first responders. Abbott is in talks with federal and state officials to determine how best to deploy the technology across the nation.
White noted that while today's test is impressive and much-needed technology, there will be additional tests from Abbott coming in the weeks and months ahead. He said their teams are working day and night to bring not only new technology, but also new capacity, to our healthcare system.
When asked whether he had any doubt we'd be able to beat this virus, White said he always knew science would prevail, but it's frustrating that the victory will take months and years to materialize.
Executive Decision: SAP
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked in with Jennifer Morgan, co-CEO of SAP (SAP) - Get Report, the software giant which is helping to fight the coronavirus by offering its software to companies for free.
Morgan said SAP has partnered with Abbott Labs and is helping the drugmaker with software services, including logistics to help get COVID-19 testing and supplies to where they're needed most. The company has also taken the 90-day pledge to guarantee there will be no layoffs during this difficult time. Morgan said SAP's focus continues to be on their employees and customers.
When asked what customers are experiencing, Morgan said the world went virtual overnight and customers are asking for tools to help them manage a remote workforce. SAP introduced a new Pulse service, for example, that allows employers to listen and collect feedback from employees so they can react quickly to their needs.
Morgan said SAP is always a competitive company and they offer rich and relevant software to their customers and have great partnerships.
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Executive Decision: Cloudflare
Prince said the real heroes of this pandemic are our medical professionals, but the reliable sidekick has been the Internet and the cloud. He said the Internet was built to withstand a crisis and it's amazing that this public utility has seen its usage double seemingly without a hitch.
When asked why customers are choosing Cloudflare, Prince said that they have a global network with the scale to meet the changing needs of their customers. He said companies need help getting their work done in these changing times and Cloudflare has the services to help them adapt.
Cloudflare is also active in another important issue, election security. With many people questioning how elections will be conducted throughout the year, Prince said we all have a public duty to ensure that critical functions of our society continue to work, even in these challenging times. He said our elections are seeing increased threats from a variety of sources and Cloudflare is helping to keep critical infrastructure secured.
Working from home has created a tremendous bull market in cloud computing, and the biggest winner is not who you'd expect, Cramer told viewers.
There's a great need for more data center capacity, Cramer said, which is welcome news for a host of tech companies. Last week we learned of strong demand from Micron Technologies (MU) - Get Report, which spilled over into Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Report.
Cramer's also previously recommended Zoom Video (ZM) - Get Report and Logitech International (LOGI) - Get Report. But today we learned of another beneficiary of the work-at-home trend -- Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report.
Microsoft reported a 775% increase in the usage of its Azure cloud services, as well as a significant spike in the usage of its Teams collaboration tools. The company is now hosting over 900 million minutes of meetings every single day as workers stay in touch with team members remotely.
Cramer said Microsoft is a buy, and may be the best technology stock in the entire market given the many areas in which it operates.
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 JNJ, NVDA, MSFT.