CNBC's Jim Cramer said it may take measures that can cause a recession to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. The "Mad Money" host explained why bank stocks are vulnerable to the pandemic.
The global coronavirus outbreak has painted a bleak picture for the U.S. economy and drastic measures must be taken to stop the virus from spreading, CNBC's said Wednesday.
The suggestion came after the World Health Organization officially called the fast-spreading virus a global pandemic, the number of cases in the country rose above 1,110 and the death toll reached 32 people as of the afternoon, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
"There's nothing more important than trying to stay home, wash your hands, and get your supplies," the "Mad Money" host said. "Hopefully we can stagger this thing out and our scientists will come up with something to stop or at least slow the spread ... and it includes a recession."
The gave up more than 1,400 points during the session for its fourth quadruple-digit decline within three weeks. The and both slid almost 5%.
Cramer, who is bearish on the market, explained what action could be taken to turn him more positive.
The coronavirus outbreak has placed financial institutions into a precarious predicament that makes their stocks tough to invest in, Cramer said.
While they do not have a front-row seat to consumer spending disruption, such as the cruise and airline industries, the lending operations of banks may face pressure.
"Every one of these industries takes down debt. Every one of these industries is, shall we say, suspect now," the host said. "If cruise lines and restaurants and retailers and airlines and oils are in trouble, well, so are their bankers."
In Cramer's lightning round, the "Mad Money" host ran through his thoughts about callers' favorite stock picks of the day.
: "Zoetis is a humanization-of-pets story. That story is going to be a resistant to recession, however, at the same time, the stock is up gigantically over time so I would buy it on the way down, but I do like it."
: "Coupa Software's the kind of company that's probably going to exceed the number and people are probably going to sell it anyway, 'cause this is the kind of market where while it's a high-growth stock, which I like, it has gone up so much over multiple years and that's when I do want you to buy 'cause this company does — is a way for companies to save money. Wait for the report."