Cramer downplays market drop on Trump coronavirus; get buy list ready

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday downplayed the stock market decline on President Donald Trump testing positive for the coronavirus, suggesting investors may want to consider buying on pullbacks.

“I’m not saying this is much to do about nothing,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box.” “I am saying that people should have a buy list ready.”

Stock futures were sharply lower Friday morning as Wall Street digested the news that Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus. The president wrote in a tweet early Friday morning, “We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

Equities dropped in early trading but pared some of those losses in the afternoon on hopes for a stimulus agreement.

After Cramer spoke, stocks went on to pare some of their early losses in afternoon trading on hopes for a stimulus agreement.

The Trumps’ positive tests came hours after White House advisor Hope Hicks also tested positive for the coronavirus. Hicks had traveled on Air Force One with the Trumps to Cleveland for Tuesday night’s first presidential debate. 

Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence have tested negative for the virus, the White House announced Friday morning.

Cramer wished the Trumps a fast recovery and stressed the environment was not “business as usual.” But he added, “I do believe there will be many stocks that will initially go down, like a Tesla —  by the way, we had deliveries that were better than expected —  and then they can rally.” 

“I think that can be like a Ford Motor, where I believe the numbers are going to come in better, and I would be looking to buy something like that,” the “Mad Money” host also said. 

Cramer said he hopes the president’s coronavirus infection convinces more Americans to wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus, which could have benefits for the U.S. economy.

Cramer noted Trump has largely eschewed mask-wearing during the pandemic and earlier this week chided his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, for how frequently he wears a mask.

Biden on Friday morning wished the Trumps well.

“Masks are the only hope we really have, particularly indoors,” Cramer said. “Maybe the notion that you’re somehow ‘not tough’ [if you] wear a mask goes away.”

“If you try to reopen the economy aggressively without masks, without more discipline on social distancing, well it’s going to fail,” Cramer added. “I think that’s really the ultimate takeaway of what happened with the president being infected with Covid.”

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