Beating Covid-19 will be ‘like the end of Prohibition’

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When the U.S. can fully open up and get to the other side of the coronavirus crisis, Wall Street will celebrate like its 1933, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer.

In his first reaction to a banner day for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, where the blue-chip index broke through and closed above the 30,000 level for the first time in history, the “Mad Money” host praised young investors and scientists for helping the market realize the moment.

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“I think that what’s happening here is happy days are here again, somewhat justified because if we can get this thing under control, it is going to be like the end of Prohibition,” Cramer said on “Closing Bell” after Tuesday’s record close.

December will mark 87 years since the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, ending a nationwide ban on alcoholic beverages that lasted about 14 years. Americans celebrated the end of the Prohibition Era in late 1933 by drinking beer, while the country was in the midst of the Great Depression.

Now in 2020, the stock market has steadily risen on high hopes that a coronavirus vaccine will be soon available for the general public, a probable prelude to what investors hope will be a strong economic recovery in 2021. Global economies were thrown into recession earlier this year in efforts to fight the spread of Covid-19, which has killed 1.4 million people around the world.

The Dow rallied almost 455 points Tuesday for a 1.54% gain to close at a record 30,046.24.

President Donald Trump made a brief appearance in the afternoon to tout the milestone and “congratulate everybody” for the market recovery, a contrast from his repeated warnings that the market would crash should Joe Biden, now president-elect, win the White House race.

Cramer praised scientists in the quest for a vaccine and young investors in the quest for gains for helping the 30-stock Dow reach the milestone.

“I think that people just kind of have belief, they have faith, and it tends to be the younger generation that has faith,” Cramer said, acknowledging that some stocks being traded are “overheated.”

The source of the market’s recovery, however, is science, he said.

“Science has triumphed,” he added. “We don’t speak enough on the network about how great science has done because none of us thought this was possible.”

The Dow came within 500 points of the 30,000 mark prior to the market-wide meltdown that came along with global shutdowns in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

From its February peak, the Dow cratered more than 38%, bottoming near 18,200 in late March.

Eight months later, the index has returned 65% as of Tuesday’s close.

“We’re faced with the prospect that there’s a whole new group of investors who’ve come in and seem to like anything,” Cramer said.

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