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Cramer: Is stock market about to get ugly?

Confident we'll pull through: Cramer

(Click for video linked to a searchable transcript of this Mad Money segment)

It's not a scientific measure by any stretch but something happened today and immediately Cramer knew a sell-off was imminent.

"I was having my coffee and a couple of people asked me, 'is this thing for real. Are we really in trouble?' I knew then and there we were in for a nasty sell-off," Cramer said.

That's because rhetoric out of Washington and the resulting ripple had finally permeated the general culture to the point where it had become the topic of small talk among strangers.

When Washington is able to generate that much concern on Main Street, Cramer looks for a sell-off on Wall Street. And sure enough by the end of Thursday's session the Dow Jones Industrial Average had plunged by triple digits.

A trader works the floor of the NYSE.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Cramer doesn't expect the selling to end anytime soon. "Everyone has to recognize this was day one," he said.

That's because Cramer believes the coffee shop chatter is happening all around the nation. "Now it's for real," Cramer said. "And when it becomes real, business starts cutting estimates and even jobs.

"We saw that yesterday when United Technologies said that there are 5000 jobs at risk because of the government closure," Cramer noted. "Why should it be any different at rivals such as Lockheed Martin or General Dynamics or Northrop Grumman. If I were an analyst following those companies I would just cut numbers right here right now. Why not? Why not get ahead of this?"

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That Cramer said will become the prevailing sentiment on Wall Street. And ultimately, it will take the market lower.

Now that's not to say every day will be a down day. Cramer doesn't think it will.

"Stocks will probably bounce on Friday, as they often do on Fridays when the short sellers fear that we could get a deal over the weekend. That's how it always is with these political fights."

But Cramer expects gains to be short lived. "I'm not expecting a deal," Cramer said. "And if I'm right and none comes, the selling will just start all over again on Monday."

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

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