When the facts change for the worse, you have to change with them, Cramer said Wednesday.
The "Mad Money" host noted that in the last 72 hours, the threat of default has intensified. At first, the probability of an U.S. default seemed unlikely. Things seem to have changed now.
Cramer said there are different kinds of default, though. The first kind isn't a "real default," he explained. It's more of a technical one, where certain bills don't get paid. He called it "diet default." The second kind of default is the "nuclear" option, he said, where the government stops sending out Social Security checks and fails to pay the interest on the principle of its debt.
Cramer thinks the U.S. will avoid the "nuclear" option, but the odds of the "diet default" seem to be 50-50 right now and is only becoming more and more likely. If the "diet default" does happen, Cramer thinks there would be a significant pullback in the S&P 500 index . If this kind of default occurs, Cramer thinks there will ultimately be a resolution, though, and stocks will bounce back.
So if stocks fall between now and the August 2 deadline, Cramer recommends investors get a shopping list ready. He doesn't recommend investors buy the following assets now, but he does think they should be on their radar.
For investors looking for an insurance policy, Cramer recommends owning gold — gold coins, gold bullion or the SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund.
Cramer also likes Coca-Cola , McDonald's , Amazon , Google and Apple . These companies have recently reported strong earnings results with high-growth stocks that aren't caught up in the demand-certainty debate. He wouldn't buy any of these names now, though, as they are too high. Instead, he recommends investors be opportunistic as the market goes lower.
Smokestack, cyclical stocks that have less exposure to the U.S. and more exposure to the rest of the world is another route to take, Cramer said. He likes Cummins , Eaton , Dow Chemical and PPG in particular, but only on a pullback.
What can investors buy right now? Cramer suggests high-yielding utilities, like Consolidated Edison , American Electric Power . He also likes master limited partnerships Energy Transfer Partners and Linn Energy .
When this story was published, Cramer's charitable trust owned Apple, Coca-Cola and Cummins.
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