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Market Blind to Social Justice

Wall Street rallied after a weekend chock full of protests across the U.S. because the market is blind to social justice, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Monday.

“At the end of the day, the market has no conscience. Investors are simply trying to make money, and that’s why they’re crowding into the stay-at-home economy stocks,” the “Mad Money” host said, “because the stay-at-home economy just got a major extension for many investors [and] right or wrong, thoughtless or cerebral, it’s worth exploiting.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average picked up almost 92 points, or 0.36%, to close the session at 25,475.02. The S&P 500 rose 0.38% to 3,055.73, and the Nasdaq Composite moved 0.66% to 9,552.05.

When it comes to the market, investors have their own beliefs and cast judgments on current events, but the market generally doesn’t react to social justice — if the demonstrations don’t impact the corporation’s bottom line, said Cramer, who voiced his support for peaceful protesters.

“Until very recently, nobody was investing with an eye toward making the world a better place — whatever that might mean,” he said.

“While there’s now a younger generation that invests with their hearts as well as their heads — and I share a lot of that sentiment — for the most part, people still pick stocks because they’re trying to make money.”

He is worried, however, how the mass demonstrations nationwide could impact public health as the country continues to grapple with both the coronavirus pandemic and tough economic conditions. While protesters have good reason to take to the streets, their congregation in close spaces could lead to another spike in Covid-19 infections, leading to another reason for employers to delay calling employees back into the office, Cramer said.

“That’s why I’m concerned that we’re going to get a huge second wave of infections, far earlier than people thought,” he said. “Plus, in the places where protests turned violent, it gives businesses another reason to shut down or keep their employees working remotely. From this stock market’s perspective, everything that happened this weekend means the stay-at-home economy will last longer than we thought.”

Given those factors, the former hedge-fund manager recommended that investors keep investing into the stay-at-home plays. His suggestions came after Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer earlier that day became the latest governor to lift a state’s stay-home order as the country gradually reopens the economy.

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