In a precarious market, investors will reach for the stock equivalent of comfort food, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Wednesday. Today, that comfort food came in the way of the tried and true FAANG stocks of Facebook (FB) - Get Report, Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, Netflix (NFLX) - Get Report and Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report.
This market has seen some winners over the past few weeks, from consumer packaged goods and healthcare to big box retail and the semiconductors. One of those winners has been Lowe's (LOW) - Get Report, which reported strong earnings and an 11.2% increase in same store sales. Cramer checked in with Lowe's CEO, Marvin Ellison, to learn more.
Ellison said Lowe's remains committed to the health and safety of their employees and supporting the local communities they serve. He said that despite the pandemic, housing remains healthy and we still see a shortage of new homes and many aging homes in need of remodeling.
That's why customers have been flocking to Lowe's, as the company offers many ways to buy, including curbside pickup and delivery options. Lowe's continues to invest in its online operations, partnering with Google Cloud to build a world-class online operation, he said.
When asked for his outlook, Ellison said that brighter days are ahead and this virus will be beaten. He said small independent contractors are doing better and we will recover from this disruption.
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Executive Decision: Facebook
For his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, to learn more about their new small business initiatives.
Sandberg said COVID-19 isn't just a health crisis, it's also an economic one. When surveyed, 31% of small businesses said they had stopped operating with 11% expecting to close their doors forever. Many feared not being able to rehire the employees they were forced to let go.
Given these tremendous pressures, Facebook announced their Shops program, which allows any business to set up a presence on Facebook and communicate with their customers for free. Sandberg said Facebook has listings for 160 million small businesses around the globe and eight million of them are advertising on the Facebook platform. Now anyone with a business can migrate online quickly and for free.
Sandberg said Facebook doesn't want to do everything themselves. They've partnered with online store providers like Shopify (SHOP) - Get Report to make it easy to connect your existing store and list your items. You can do it in minutes from your living room, she said.
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Executive Decision: Mondelez
Van De Put said in times of lockdowns and quarantines, consumers want comfort and they're turning to trusted brands like Oreo, Ritz and Cadbury. Snacking has been trending higher since the pandemic began and Van De Put said that trend is likely here to stay as a percentage of consumers will stay at home.
While snacking differs from generation to generation, Van De Put said that brands like Oreo are just as popular with Generation Z and millennials as it is with older consumers.
When asked about the state of the world economy, Van De Put explained that China is starting to come back, but India and Southeast Asia remain in strict lockdowns. Things are trending toward recovery in both the U.S. and Europe, but Latin America is still seeing cases rise and will likely be the slowest region to recover.
Executive Decision: Verizon
Vestberg said communications are essential in times like these, which is why Verizon chose to accelerate their investments into 5G technology to keep our economy moving. He said there are a small percentage of customers taking advantage of their Keep America Connected program, but so far they have not seen sizable disruptions.
When asked about 5G, Vestberg said Verizon is building the fastest 5G network, not just for consumers, but also for industry and government to create all new services. Verizon's 5G is up to 20 times faster than their 4G LTE and will support transactions, video communications and augmented reality services, Vestberg said.
Beware False Idols
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that even the smartest money managers get it wrong sometimes, which is why you should take everything they say with a grain of salt. No one has a crystal ball, Cramer said, and money managers change their minds all the time without alerting the public.
Back on March 18 and 19 a pair of money managers, Bill Ackman and Ray Dalio, appeared on CNBC with emotional comments, predicting doom and gloom and a second Great Depression if our government didn't act quickly. Those comments came right as the markets bottomed.
It turns out our government did act quickly and had you sold everything, you would have missed the entire rally. Think for yourself, Cramer concluded, even the money managers don't have all of the answers.
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:
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in FB, AMZN, AAPL, GOOGL.