Reaction to the moves indeed was mixed, with proponents suggesting the Dow needs to get more current with what is moving the market and opponents saying the index made the wrong call as to which companies should be removed.
"The whole Altria thing makes all the sense in the world. Now that they're spinning off the international side, it's going to be a very small company," said Nadav Baum, managing director of investments for Pittsburgh-based BPU Investment Management. "If you're not making changes on a five- to six-year basis, if it fact warrants a change, then it's not really a reflective index. When you look at it now, it's more reflective."
Baum agreed that Chevron's position as a player in oil, which has become a dominant force in the US and world economy, merited it a place in the Dow.
But Cramer remained unconvinced that the index made the right moves.
"This is the worst oil and the worst finance that you could possibly add, the ones that are the most challenged: Bank of America, because of the Countrywide and because of the bad loans, Chevron because of the ridiculously under-performing nature of the stock, because it doesn't find oil like it used to, and isn't making that much money," he said. "So, thanks a lot, Dow."
Bear Stearns analyst Sal Catrini, though, suggested that the changes would have only an isolated effect.
"There has to be a changing of the guard when the economy changes and it looks like they made some smart changes," Catrini said during "Squawk on the Street." "Indexes are going to be very specific to those accounts."
In fact, there was prevailing sentiment that all four companies involved would continue their listings as always on the Standard & Poor's 500, which is the index that attracts the most attention from average investors.
"Chevron and Bank of America are what the Dow Jones stands for, which is really an index that only retail investors follow and nobody else," Baum said.
"The Dow is nominal, it's the trademark of the US," Catrini said. "As far as the professional money management game, it doesn't mean that much, it doesn't have a lot of import."