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Think Big: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Wednesday 3/18/20)

Jim Cramer isn’t mincing words. He says we must stop bickering, think big and make changes or we’ll have many more days like this.
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We have no choice but to win against the coronavirus, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. There is no such thing as doing too much to help, but doing too little will have dire consequences. We live in a service-based economy, Cramer reminded viewers. That means we need to do whatever is necessary to save it.

Cramer said industries like the airlines and hotels are going to need assistance, and our government should give it to them. Whatever assistance small businesses need, we should give it to them. 

And for industries that need a lot of help, with companies like Boeing  (BA) - Get The Boeing Company Report, the government should issue 30-year bonds and invest for the long term. 

Cramer advocated that the U.S. Treasury be allowed to buy any and all corporate bonds it needs to keep other businesses liquid and functioning. The U.S. also needs to take a hard line against Saudi Arabia to prop up oil prices and keep the U.S. oil industry alive and well. 

On the public health front, we need a public works initiative to build more temporary hospitals, get critical supplies to those in need and get everyone tested who needs to be tested. 

We can't afford to cripple our economy, Cramer concluded. America needs to be a leader in the fight against this pandemic.

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Executive Decision: Starbuck

For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report, the coffee chain which is celebrating its 50th anniversary later this year. 

Johnson said despite the coronavirus, Starbucks continues to show up and contribute in a positive way in all 32,000 of the communities they serve. We are 58 days into the coronavirus outbreak in China, he said, and it appears the worst is now behind them and they've learned a lot of valuable lessons which are being applied to stores around the globe. 

Johnson said with increased cleaning and sanitizing of their stores and moving to a take-out system, Starbucks has been able to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and they are now putting these same policies in place in the U.S. 

Starbucks also continues to take care of their employees with paid sick leave for an employee who is sick themselves or caring for a loved one who is sick. Starbucks employees will never have to choose their job over their health, Johnson said.  

Finally, when asked about the health of the company, Johnson said sales are recovering in China and they continue to reopen stores daily. Their balance sheet is strong and they will continue to pay out their dividend and buy back additional shares of stock. 

Executive Decision: Hormel Foods

In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jim Snee, CEO of Hormel Foods  (HRL) - Get Hormel Foods Corporation Report, makers of Spam and Skippy peanut butter. 

Snee said Hormel is seeing strength across all of its brands amid the coronavirus outbreak. He said consumers are reaching for high-quality foods that they know will last. Everyone at the company is conscious of the obligation they have as a critical component in America's food system and they take their responsibility very seriously. 

It's not just Hormel, Snee added, the entire U.S. food industry is stepping up production to meet demand and calm consumers' fear of empty shelves. Hormel continues to work with the food service industry as well, he said, creating new items to meet the demands of increased takeout and delivery services. 

When asked about China, Snee said that China is returning to normalcy. He said their plants are up and running and are fully staffed and they're seeing a recovery in both retail and food service. There is light on the other side, he said, we just need to be patient until we get there. 

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Finally, Snee said that even after 129 years, Spam is more relevant than ever. Consumers are coming up with new recipes.

Executive Decision: Logitech

For his final "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer checked back in with Bracken Darryl, CEO of Logitech International  (LOGI) - Get Logitech International S.A. Report, makers of computer peripherals including video conferencing systems. 

Darryl said there's a long-term secular trend toward more remote work happening across the globe. The coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated that trend as more people look to replicate at home the video conferencing they have in the office.

But, Darryl said, the future is not everyone working alone in separate rooms. He said there will always be a need for face-to-face meetings and gatherings. However, with the climate change and now health scares, perhaps those meetings will be less frequent than before.

Logitech is also seeing strength in their other stay-at-home business, gaming. Darryl noted that the online gaming network Steam saw a record 19.7 million simultaneous users earlier this week as more people stay home and wait out the virus.

On Real Money, Cramer keys in on the companies and CEOs he knows best. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.

Off the Charts: Restaurant Stocks

In his "Off The Charts" segment, Cramer checked in with colleague Bob Lang over two of the charts of Darden Restaurants  (DRI) - Get Darden Restaurants Inc. Report and Brinker  (EAT) - Get Brinker International Inc. Report, two hard-hit restaurant stocks. Darden currently employs 178,000 people, while Brinker employs 57,000. 

The daily chart of Brinker is horrific, Lang noted. A month ago, the stock was $40, a week ago $21 and Wednesday, just $7 a share. All of the technical indicators, including the RSI, MACD and CMF, continue to be extremely bearish. 

The daily chart of Darden mirrors that of Brinker. How is the company supposed to make money when people aren't allowed to go there?

Even with all of the technical indicators indicating the stock is oversold, it is not a buy, Cramer said. The restaurant stocks must be sold before it's too late, he said, and then the government needs to step in before it's too late.

Lightning Round

Here's what Jim Cramer had to say about some of the stocks that callers offered up during the Mad Money Lightning Round Wednesday evening:

K12  (LRN) - Get Stride Inc. Report: "If you want that one I'm gonna send you to Zoom Video  (ZM) - Get Zoom Video Communications Inc. Report."

The Blackstone Group  (BX) - Get Blackstone Inc. Report: "I would not be a seller at these levels. " 

IdaCorp, Inc.  (IDA) - Get IDACORP Inc. Report: "If you want a utility, you want American Electric Power  (AEP) - Get American Electric Power Company Inc. Report, Consolidated Edison  (ED) - Get Consolidated Edison Inc. Report and Dominion Energy  (D) - Get Dominion Energy Inc. Report." 

Southwest Airlines  (LUV) - Get Southwest Airlines Company Report: "I'm not going to sell this stock down here. They deserve better." 

Principal Financial Group  (PFG) - Get Principal Financial Group Inc Report: "I'm not giving up on these guys. Too many smart people doing smart things."

Uber  (UBER) - Get Uber Technologies Inc. Report: "This is not high quality enough to buy in this environment. "

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in SBUX.