Mad Money

Cramer Remix: Here are the best-in-show biotechs for 2018 so far

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer breaks down his take on the biotech pullback and which two he thinks could be top performers.
  • Cramer also sits down with the CEOs of Automatic Data Processing and Chubb Limited.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer turns "lukewarm" on an energy stock he once hated.
Cramer Remix: Here are the best-in-show biotechs for 2018 so far

On Tuesday, CNBC's Jim Cramer cautioned investors not to go after stocks in the Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-J.P. Morgan-driven health-care sell-off right away.

But on Wednesday, after reviewing the most recent earnings reports from biotechnology behemoths AbbVie and Biogen, the "Mad Money" host changed his tune.

"The drug companies that just reported phenomenal numbers ... are worth buying right into this Empire striking back," Cramer said, making a Star Wars reference to the trifecta of Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Berkshire's Warren Buffett and J.P. Morgan's Jamie Dimon.

But, Cramer warned, the stocks of Humira maker AbbVie and Alzheimer's battler Biogen will only get more attractive as they decline.

"Abbvie and Biogen delivered some fabulous numbers, best in show for 2018 even in the face of the Empire striking back," Cramer said. "With this pullback, I think you're getting a terrific opportunity that I did not expect to scale into them on the way down."

Cramer's investment strategy for a volatile market

Dowell | Getty Images

When the stock market makes big, intraday swings, Cramer says investors should fall back on secular growth themes that work in any environment.

"You need to have a list ... where you can say, 'That's it, my buy price has been hit. Time to pull the trigger,'" Cramer said on Wednesday. "This way your decision-making process is bloodless and unemotional. You've already made the call during a calmer, non-battle-oriented moment — you're just waiting for lower prices to give you a better entry point."

Cramer said that one main reason for market volatility is that major institutional firms are jumping in and out of stocks based on data points that may not be totally accurate.

But those position changes move the needle, leading to sell-offs like the one earlier this week that was spurred by rising Treasury rates and prolonged by concerns over the future of health care costs.

So, during market-wide volatility, Cramer steers investors towards secular growth stocks, groups of equities that have bright futures regardless of the day-to-day market action.

State of the Union playbook

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 30, 2018.
Getty Images

After a year of an often unpredictable administration, Cramer was heartened to see President Donald Trump deliver a measured, predictable State of the Union address.

"It's ironic, but this president does, indeed, know what the stock market wants from him: it wants cheerleading, more defense dollars, less regulation, especially when it comes to big business, and, of course, lower taxes," the "Mad Money" host said.

Trump gave investors a bullish take on the market layout, touting the $8 trillion in stock market value added since the election, pledging more defense spending and talking up a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.

Given the optimism, Cramer broke down the speech into actionable parts so investors could get in on the "rhetoric per share."

ADP CEO on Ackman aftermath

Carlos Rodriguez, CEO, ADP
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Automatic Data Processing President and CEO Carlos Rodriguez and activist investor Bill Ackman have resolved their differences since Ackman lost a proxy fight against the payroll giant, Rodriguez said Wednesday.

"It's all water under the bridge," the CEO told CNBC in an interview with Cramer. "We listened very carefully to what Bill had to say. In fact, I've been in touch with him, so we have, I think, what I would call a collegial and professional relationship."

In an August 2017 interview with CNBC, Rodriguez slammed Ackman, saying the Pershing Square chief reminded him of a "spoiled brat." In November, Ackman slammed back, calling ADP "very inefficient."

The battle ostensibly came to an end when Ackman lost his bid for a seat on ADP's board, though he remained a shareholder. And on Wednesday, Rodriguez brushed the contentious back-and-forth under the rug.

Chubb Limited CEO on merger, managing risk

Evan Greenberg, CEO, Chubb
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Chubb's 2016 merger with ACE Limited has paid off better than Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg ever expected, he told CNBC on Wednesday in an interview with Cramer.

"We exceeded our initial expectations by a mile on efficiencies and cost take-out, but it's really about one plus one equals three," Greenberg said of the newly integrated insurance giant. "We are growing faster today than I believe the two companies left on their own would."

Citing "the complementary strengths of the two organizations in terms of product capability and service strengths and geographic reach and distribution excellence," Greenberg said the market opportunity still ahead of the company was "compelling."

And when it comes to broader global concerns like climate change that insurers may need to hedge against in the future, Greenberg said it was Chubb's duty as a company to tackle the issues.

"As long as we can be paid properly and we can understand the risk and we can structure the risk, we will assume that risk," Greenberg said. "As climate change becomes a greater reality and we have more volatility and as society … becomes more affluent, urbanizes more, then there's greater concentrations in exposure. That's the insurance industry's job if we want to remain relevant."

Lightning round: Warming up to ETP?

In Cramer's lightning round, he shared his take on some callers' favorite stocks:

Energy Transfer Partners LP: "I am shocked they increased the distribution and I've got to tell you, I no longer hate the stock. Now I'm getting lukewarm on it."

Square, Inc.: "Square is about as speculative as you can get, and I would say I would only hold it if I was willing to lose at least 10 to 15 percent of my capital within three days. Of course, you could make it, too, but that's not my cup of tea and I don't want you to violate your rules."

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