Bet on proven CEOs as Covid uncertainty persists in the market


CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday he expects uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic to continue clouding the investment landscape, underscoring the need to bet on companies with proven management teams at the helm.

“While we’re in phase four now, we have no idea what phase five will look like, and you’re kidding yourself if you think you can come up with a meaningful forecast,” the “Mad Money” host said, contending previous expectations for how long it would take for vaccines to be developed, for example, proved to misguided.

At this stage in the pandemic, Cramer said investors cannot try to predict the future by relying simply on indicators such as monetary policy, the savings rate and bond yields. Those metrics were reliable in a pre-Covid world, allowing investors to make educated guesses on which sectors may stand out in the near term, Cramer said.

“That’s all gone now” because of how “insanely” unpredictable the Covid crisis has become, he said.

“That’s why you need to find great companies with CEOs who can navigate their way through any of these phases. They’ll be the winners regardless of how all of this plays out,” Cramer said.

The current rise in U.S. coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, linked in large part to the highly transmissible delta variant, is the latest complication facing Wall Street, Cramer said.

“We’re still trying to figure out what the latest outbreak means, but I think it could end up feeling more like phase one — where we’re stuck at home, so housing sales skyrocket, offices are kind of put to the side, and there’s tons of demand for testing,” Cramer said.

 “In this environment, you have to fall back on individual stock picking. The infrastructure package, the previous stimulus did help you find ideas,” he added, “but what matters is that you can’t really glean much from the aggregate [economic] data. … It’s always backward looking.”