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Jim Cramer reveals stand-out sectors after the market tanks on coronavirus outbreak

Key Points
  • Consumer staples, pharmaceuticals, utilities and gold stocks can stand a chance in the market after Wall Street took a major hit on coronavirus worries, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
  • "I wish I could be optimistic about more groups, but I don't think it's worth the risk for many of them," the "Mad Money" host said.
  • Consumer staples are the defensive stocks "you buy in a slowdown, and we're getting a slowdown," he said.
VIDEO2:4802:48
Jim Cramer says 'no hurry' to buy stocks after coronavirus-induced sell-off

Though the Wall Street suffered one of its worse trading days in recent years, there are some bright areas in the stock market, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Monday.

After the major indexes declined more than 3% on concerns of the coronavirus spreading across continents, the "Mad Money" host pointed to consumer staples, pharmaceuticals and utilities as stand-out sectors.

"I wish I could be optimistic about more groups, but I don't think it's worth the risk for many of them," he said.

Investors can consider adding defensive names like beverage giant Coca-Cola and Chips Ahoy-parent Mondelez International to their portfolios, Cramer said. Last month, Coca-Cola reported positive quarterly results on the backs of new product launches. Mondelez also topped analyst estimates in its fourth-quarter report.

"Their yields can save you, here," Cramer said. "They're what you buy in a slowdown, and we're getting a slowdown."

Cramer suggested that drug stocks are "looking good." He has his eyes on Gilead Sciences in particular, which rallied about 4.6% Monday to almost $73 per share. The biotechnology company is reportedly testing a treatment — antiviral remdesivir — for the COVID-19 virus.

Merck, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson shares traded lower during the session, with Eli Lilly taking a 2.7% hit. Cramer said he likes each of these stocks on weakness.

Utilities stocks have been steady gainers within the first two months of 2020, especially with a global economic slowdown on investors' minds. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund, which tracks stocks in the industry, is up 7.57% this year, compared with the S&P 500's 0.15% dip.

Cramer recommended three utilities worth adding to the shopping list.

Dominion Energy "hasn't rallied as much as the others," he said. "We've always liked American Electric Power and Con Ed. We're returning to those."

When it comes to gold, another safe-haven investment, the precious metal has "more room to run" on the market, the host said.

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