Investors need to wait for the dust to settle before they start any buying, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Thursday, after the market's sharp declines on news the U.S. will impose a 10% tariff on all remaining Chinese imports. Cramer said there are stocks that can win in this environment, but it's still too soon to consider buying.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which had been up 300 points at one point, finished down 220 points, or 1.05%, to 26,583, the S&P 500 fell 0.9% and the Nasdaq dropped 0.79%.
Given the severity of the new tariffs, which include all Chinese goods, including the iPhone, Cramer said he's shocked the market wasn't down even more. It seems the Federal Reserve's interest-rate cut came just in time for stocks. But make no mistake, with bond yields falling below 2%, investors are worried a recession may be looming.
Cramer has been in favor of tariffs for years, he said, as the Chinese have breaking the trade rules for decades. But now that tariffs are in full force and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, Cramer gave the green light to take profits and raise cash in your portfolios.
Once the dust settles, he said, investors can buy non-cellphone-related tech stocks or utilities, like ConEd (ED) - Get Report , Dominion Energy (D) - Get Report and American Electric Power (AEP) - Get Report , but they need to avoid stocks with Chinese exposure. Even safe stocks like Procter & Gamble (PG) - Get Report might see their earnings crimped in this environment.
Cramer and the AAP team are trimming their position in Abbott Laboratories (ABT) - Get Report , in light of the new China tariffs. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts Plus.
What to Buy and When
With the bond yield slipping below 2%, which stocks should be on investors' shopping lists? Cramer said "it's complicated," but offered up some ideas. In this environment, investors can afford to be patient however, so there's no hurry to rush out and buy.
First on Cramer's shopping list was growth technology companies like Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report and Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report , neither of which operate in China. Next, he said U.S. companies with scale can still work. Think Yum Brands (YUM) - Get Report , Costco (COST) - Get Report and RH (RH) - Get Report , all of which have little to no Chinese exposure as well.
Still other ideas included cybersecurity, with names like Cyberark (CYBR) - Get Report , Fortinet (FTNT) - Get Report and Cisco Systems (CSCO) - Get Report . Cramer also mentioned defense stocks like the new L3Harris (LHX) - Get Report .
Executive Decision: American Tower
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Jim Taiclet, chairman, president and CEO of American Tower (AMT) - Get Report , the cell tower REIT that just posted strong earnings ahead of the coming 5G wireless revolution.
Taiclet said despite its name, American Tower is a global business, and one thing that is constant around the world is the need for wireless communication, data and entertainment. He said for many countries, their entire infrastructure is wireless, as they skipped wired communications altogether.
When asked about the U.S. telecom landscape given the expected Sprint (S) - Get Report and T-Mobile (TMUS) - Get Report merger, Taiclet said he thinks the market will benefit from having four strong players, which is what we'll have once Sprint and T-Mobile divest some assets to Dish Network (DISH) - Get Report , which has its own plans for a 5G rollout.
Finally, Taiclet said that 5G will be a game changer for our society. 5G will make all sorts of new technologies possible and deliver speed and performance unlike anything we've seen so far.
On Real Money, Cramer's got more analysis of the talk by and about the Fed. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Executive Decision: Hologic
Macmillan explained that Hologic's 3D mammography and cervical products are designed to detect cancers earlier, so patients get better outcomes and the healthcare system overall saves money. He said capital spending at hospitals remains strong, especially if you have a meaningful product like 3D imaging that provides state-of-the-art results.
When asked about his company's recent acquisitions, Macmillan said their medical aesthetics division continues to do well with great new products and treatments.
Time to Get Your Tickets
It's the best time of year for sports fans, that's why Cramer sat down with Russ D'Souza, co-founder of the privately-held SeatGeek, in his "Off The Tape" segment to learn more about this company's story.
D'Souza said SeatGeek aims to give fans a better experience when buying tickets for event. It's an open platform that believes in transparency and helps fans find the best seats and the best deals. His company recently partnered with Lyft (LYFT) - Get Report , for example, so that your Lyft driver will know where your seats are so they can drop you off and pick you up at the right gate. They can also help you make sure your tickets are legitimate.
With the demand for live entertainment growing, D'Souza said there's room for platforms like SeatGeek to connect ticketing companies with fans and concert goers and give everyone a great experience.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) - Get Report , Anaplan (PLAN) - Get Report , Sonic Automotive (SAH) - Get Report , Lithia Motors (LAD) - Get Report and Boot Barn (BOOT) - Get Report .
Introducing TheStreet Courses: Financial titans Jim Cramer and Robert Powell are bringing their market savvy and investing strategies to you. Learn how to create tax-efficient income, avoid top mistakes, reduce risk and more. With our courses, you will have the tools and knowledge needed to achieve your financial goals. Learn more about TheStreet Courses on investing and personal finance here.
Search Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" trading recommendations using our exclusive "Mad Money" Stock Screener.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
To sign up for Jim Cramer's free Booyah! newsletter with all of his latest articles and videos please click here.
At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in ABT, GOOGL, CSCO.