President Donald Trump's belated endorsement of face masks sparked a rally in the recovery stocks, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
The president's newfound appreciation for mask-wearing takes away the leading voice for the anti-face covering crowd and should tamp down on the culture and political clash that brewed from the controversial topic, the "Mad Money" host said.
"If the president of the United States keeps encouraging people to wear masks, rather than discouraging them … that makes it much easier to flatten the curve, because the no-mask contingent listens to him, fears him, cheers him," Cramer said. "With enough mask-wearing, we can beat this thing long before we get a vaccine, although it's still gonna take weeks before we see any progress."
With his mind focused on reopening the U.S. economy in the spring, Trump previously mocked Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential hopeful, for wearing of a face mask and suggested that it's not presidential to do so. That was despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advice in early April that people wear face coverings in public settings where social distancing is a challenge.
Fast forward to Monday, the president posted a black-and-white photo of himself wearing a mask calling it "Patriotic" to do so and saying that no one is "more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"
The mask promotion, in addition to another potential round of stimulus spending to prop up the economy, sparked a rally in the recovery plays, including the lagging retail stocks, banking sector and even Disney and Starbucks, as masks can help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Cramer noted. That would help the country resume its reopening and not reverse back into an undesirable lockdown.
The Dow Jones added almost 160 points, or 0.60%, to reach 26,840.40 at the close. The S&P 500 inched up 0.17% to 3,257.30 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which has been soaring in recent weeks, retreated 0.81% to 10,680.36.
The Cramer Covid-19 Index, by comparison, slipped 0.7% during the session.
"The Cramer Covid-19 Index is out, the recovery stocks are in," Cramer said.
Costco was met by boycott calls when it was among the first establishments to mandate that patrons wear face coverings back in May. Despite this, the grocery club posted that same-store sales increased in the month of June by 11% from $14.57 billion a year earlier. Walmart, Walgreens, Target, Kohl's, CVS Health and other shops later followed Costco's lead.
"If we can get mask compliance up to 80%, we can contain this thing like they did in Asia and Europe already," Cramer said. "Taiwan, Japan, China, Vietnam and South Korea have all returned to normalcy … mostly because they wear their darned masks."
Of the nearly 14.8 million Covid-19 cases worldwide, the United States continues to lead the way substantially with more than 3.8 million people testing positive of the deadly disease. More than 141,400 people who contracted the virus have been reported dead, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.
"Basically, the critics assumed that taking the pandemic seriously would be bad for business, but in reality, taking it seriously is what lets you get back to normal," the host said. "Just look at the rest of the world."
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Salesforce, Disney, Costco, CVS Health and Starbucks.