CNBC's Jim Cramer on Monday said stocks that benefit from the pandemic led the market higher as the coronavirus outbreak continues its spread across the country.
The major averages all made gains during the session, with the Nasdaq Composite setting another record, despite the grim picture painted by a top coronavirus response official the day prior about the state of the outbreak.
"Stop saying the market makes no sense," Cramer said on "Mad Money." "When the pandemic's out of control, you better believe the Cramer Covid-19 Index will lead us higher. And, yes, these companies are absolutely big enough to drag the averages with them and, amazingly, go much higher."
On Sunday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said the U.S. has entered a "new phase" of the virus' spread. The outbreak has become "extraordinarily widespread," she said while warning about its growing impact on rural communities.
As of Monday afternoon, the U.S. has recorded nearly 4.7 million positive Covid-19 tests and 155,165 deaths linked to the disease, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
When asked about former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb's projection that the death toll could top 300,000 — nearly double the current U.S. toll — by the end of the year, Birx said, "Anything is possible."
In the backdrop of Birx's comments, lawmakers in Washington have yet to get over the hump to pass another economic stimulus package and extend extra pay for those unemployed, as the pandemic continues to deal a heavy hand to swaths of the economy.
"We're not winning the war against the pandemic, and when we're losing, we buy the Cramer Covid-19 Index," Cramer said. "I wish there were more to it than that, but when the virus seems unstoppable, you go back to the well and buy, regardless of valuation."
Cramer said most of the biggest gainers on the trading day come from the cohort that benefits from a stay-at-home environment or Covid-19 response efforts.
He pointed to cloud content creator Fastly, education technology firm Chegg, online pet store Chewy, fitness bike maker Peloton and pharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions as some of the top winners in the Cramer Covid-19 Index.
"Put it all together and all of the stocks that roared today do better with the pandemic than without it," Cramer said. "They aren't mall-based retailers. They aren't automakers. They aren't banks. They aren't smokestack industrials or even drug companies.
"They're enterprises that have huge demand because the virus has fundamentally changed the way we do business in this country."