As Facebook executives come under fire for their response — or lack thereof — to reports of unauthorized data mining on the platform during the 2016 presidential campaign, CNBC’s Jim Cramer crafted a playbook for the company’s top brass.
Mark Zuckerberg, the social media giant’s founder and CEO, and Sheryl Sandberg, its chief operating officer, are both household names and need to issue statements on the matter, the “Mad Money” host argued on Tuesday.
“They both need to take full responsibility for whatever Cambridge Analytica did, regardless of whether or not they think they deserve to,” he said. “They both have to come out and face the music, even if it’s a funeral dirge.”
Cramer said examples of this are rife in the market, especially the big bank executives’ congressional testimonies about the 2008 financial crisis.
As for Zuckerberg and Sandberg, Cramer recommended the two forego any salary or stock options until the investigations are finished, and to make friends in Washington, in the lawyer community and among the late-night talk show crowd.
“Yep, the future of Facebook’s stock depends on Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to show some humility, and for Sheryl Sandberg to be the Sheryl we thought we knew,” Cramer said.
“This market’s going to need a big machete to carve a path forward for the bull. It will not be easy,” the “Mad Money” host said. “The obstacles to going higher are legion. But that doesn’t mean that nothing can go right, it just makes the gauntlet more difficult.”
At a glance, Cramer could see seven things that could put the market back on track and send stocks higher in the near term.
With the biotechnology sector struggling to stay afloat in a more volatile market, Cramer turned to technician Carolyn Boroden to spot any potential opportunities.
“While Boroden admits that many of these charts look sloppy here, … without a clear pattern, there are a couple of names that she’s stalking in case they give us a nice buying opportunity in the near future,” Cramer said.
“She’s not saying they’re buys right now, right here, but if we see a few specific technical changes in the near term, she thinks you should be ready to pounce,” he continued.
Robert Herjavec, a cybersecurity expert and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” told CNBC on Tuesday that people need to wake up when it comes to protecting their data.
“I don’t think people take information as critically as they should today. It is the modern-day weapon,” Herjavec said in an interview with Cramer. “We are living in a cold war right now and we’re under attack. We’re under attack every single day.”
The investor’s comments came in response to a scandal involving Facebook in which a firm creating ads for then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign reportedly mined data from 50 million Facebook users.
But Herjavec, whose company, the Herjavec Group, is one of the top privately-held cybersecurity companies in the world, questioned whether the issue could really be considered a “breach.”
Finally, Cramer turned to the stock of Twitter, which sank over 10 percent on Tuesday after reports surfaced that Israeli authorities were considering taking action against Twitter for failing to stem anti-Semitic content on its platform.
But after interviewing Twitter CFO Ned Segal last week, Cramer wasn’t so sure investors were right to sell.
“When you consider all the positives, I think it was crazy to dump Twitter today and it’s wrong to sell it here because Israel might be taking legal action,” the “Mad Money” host said. “When Facebook got clobbered yesterday and today, I told you it was still too early to pounce. … But what’s happening to Twitter is a lot more straightforward and I think it absolutely deserves to be bought into this excessive pullback.”
In Cramer’s lightning round, he flew through his take on some callers’ favorite stocks:
Cronos Group Inc.: “I like Constellation [Brands] because you’ve got some marijuana [company exposure] in there because they bought a stake in one. Let’s stick with Constellation. They do report next week. I saw an upgrade today by Societe Generale. I liked it.”
Take-Two Interactive Software: “OK, [CEO] Strauss Zelnick’s put together an amazing company. All those stocks have been under pressure repeatedly from a lot of different ways. I stand by my recommendation, Take-Two.”
Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Facebook and Constellation Brands.
Questions for Cramer?
Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC
Questions, comments, suggestions for the “Mad Money” website? firstname.lastname@example.org