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Cramer Remix: Why you should buy high-growth stocks during the sell-off

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer reveals which stocks you should be eyeing on a down day.
  • Cramer also sits down with the CEO of Washington Prime Group, a retail REIT.
  • In the lightning round, Cramer gives callers a three-fer of strong bank stocks.

On the worst day for markets since Feb. 8, CNBC's Jim Cramer took callers' questions in a sell-off strategy session to help them navigate the madness.

"This is a sell-off based on a slowdown, slowdown from technology, slowdown from a belief that tariffs are going to hurt the economy," the "Mad Money" host explained on Thursday.

"What you do when you have a slowdown is you go for the highest-growth stocks, so when things settle down, it's going to be the FANG names that are going to start doing better fast," he recommended.

Cramer also suggested that investors wait to hear more details about President Donald Trump's announced tariffs before buying.

"When we do, … we'll be able to take advantage of it and buy the stocks that have come down too much," Cramer said.

Fueled by A.I. fears?

The cameras on a pilot model of an Uber self-driving car are displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center.
Angelo Merendino | AFP | Getty Images
The cameras on a pilot model of an Uber self-driving car are displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center.

After the Dow Jones industrial average's 700-point plunge on Thursday, Cramer knew he had to determine the causes of the sell-off for investors.

The main issue seemed to be President Donald Trump's newly announced tariffs on Chinese goods, which spooked companies that do business in the People's Republic.

One potential target could be the technology sector, which accounts for 26 percent of the S&P 500, Cramer said. Chinese consumers buy a lot of U.S. technology, including but not limited to Apple products.

"People are becoming disenchanted with tech, particularly something they loved until recently, ... artificial intelligence," Cramer said.

One-percenter pain

President Donald Trump listens as Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, right, speaks before Trump signs a presidential memorandum targeting China's economic aggression in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, March 22, 2018.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump listens as Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, right, speaks before Trump signs a presidential memorandum targeting China's economic aggression in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

As the major averages dropped, Cramer argued that the moves had little to do with Wednesday's rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

"As long as the 1 percent believes in free trade at any cost, it's going to weigh on the stock market when the president goes in the opposite direction," the "Mad Money" host said.

The wealthiest people in the United States, many of whom own stock in leading global companies, have long benefited from free trade, or the unrestricted exchange of goods and services, Cramer explained.

U.S. presidents and business leaders have also long supported free trade, making deals with other countries to expand global trade.

"President Trump does not share that orthodoxy and it's starting to dawn on the business community that the free ride may be over," Cramer said.

Home Depot vs. Lowe's

Home Depot Lowes split
Getty Images (L) & Wikipedia (R)

In a tough environment for retail, Cramer wanted to revisit some of the sector's best performers: Home Depot and Lowe's, two top home improvement chains.

"In recent years, Home Depot had pulled ahead of Lowe's in a major way, and while it's always been the superior operator, I think it's worth asking why," Cramer said. "After all, both stocks have been slammed here."

Cramer pointed out that Home Depot's stock is down 7.5 percent for the year and Lowe's stock is down 7.8 percent, but "unlike so many other names, they haven't bounced nearly at all."

"At these levels, it pays to wonder which one is a better buy," he said on Thursday.

Retail REIT CEO talks diversification

Also on Thursday, Washington Prime Group CEO Louis Conforti argued that his company's stock is undervalued in an interview with Cramer.

"I think ultimately what has happened is we've been faced with a couple of binary paths, … so you're physical space or you're e-commerce," Conforti said. "And we operate under the assumption that only one is going to win."

Conforti, whose real estate investment trust operates shopping centers across the country, said that the way to push back against that assumption is for malls to diversify their offerings.

On the local, regional and national levels, the CEO said Washington Prime Group has focused on "providing real-time incentives for our leasing professionals to work on that diversification."

"Realistically, if we don't, we're actually doing a disservice not only to our guests but to our tenants, those tenants that are evolving and embracing this new world order," Conforti said.

Lightning round: A bank stock three-fer

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

Fifth Third Bancorp: "You can hold that. Fifth Third is a very, very good bank. I don't think rates are going to continue to go down as they did today. I'm not troubled. I also like [Huntington Bancshares], I think HBAN's good, and I like First Horizon. That's a three-fer."

American Electric Power Co.: "Look, it yields under 4 [percent] now. I would buy more if it went above 4, which, of course, does mean therefore that the stock is going lower. That's where I would buy it."

Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Apple.

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