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After the New York Stock Exchange was halted for trading due to a technical glitch Wednesday, Jim Cramer clarified to investors that there are two kinds of trading halts.
First is the kind that is caused by a computer malfunction. The other kind is caused by the government stopping trading due to yucky stocks.
Cramer saw two absolutely amazing marvels Wednesday. The first was that the NYSE went down, and nothing really happened. Investors didn't blink, and trading was rerouted to other exchanges. The market ended up being just as bad on the other exchanges as it would have been on the NYSE.
"I can remember a time when the New York Stock Exchange was the only game in town, and this outage would have caused widespread panic and a huge across-the-board decline," Cramer said.
It may seem counterintuitive, but in Cramer's perspective what happened Wednesday was a testament to the strength of the stock market—not the weakness. (Tweet This)
"If you have a gigantic decline in the Chinese averages and their consumers get burned…you have to assume there will be real damage to China's economy," the "Mad Money" host said. (Tweet This)
Yes, Cramer is concerned about the usual Chinese suspects. Iron ore tanked 16 percent this week and copper is down significantly. Commodities are also a bad place to be, which is not good news for companies like Caterpillar, Cummins and Joy Global. Cramer thinks they could even go lower.
But the far more significant impact Cramer is worried about is the slowdown of Chinese consumption of American-made products.
One glaring example is the auto industry. Companies like General Motors sell more cars in China than they do in North America. As a result, GM's stock has been hit hard lately and continues to plummet.
That leaves the biggest potential Chinese victim—Apple. China represented $16 billion worth of equipment sales for Apple in the first quarter, which was up an amazing 70 percent year over year. Tim Cook also recently conveyed on the company conference call that the Chinese middle class loves Apple products, and he expects iPhone sales in China to surpass U.S. sales this year.
"Until the Chinese market bottoms or rebounds, I think that these stocks will all be guilty until proven innocent and they will be subject to the kind of swings that many of you can't handle," Cramer said.
Another longstanding problem that Cramer has seen lingering out there are the railroads, which make up a large component of the transports group.
Cramer considers the transports as one of the most important groups out there because it will provide investors will a great read on the level of commerce in the U.S. After all, to bring a product on to the market it must be transported first!
So what the heck is going on with the rails?
Coal production has been falling steadily for the past few years and production has fallen dramatically. This is a problem for the rails because less coal production means smaller cargo for rails. And that is just one problem among many that ail this group.
Other headwinds include oil cargo, the West Coast port slowdown. However, Cramer is most concerned about coal because it is not going to come back.
"These companies are all incredibly well run, but they can only be as strong as their cargoes and right now they are just not strong enough," Cramer said.
If it weren't for the trading halt, investors would have seen the same issues repeated on Wednesday. Europe barely produced positive results, and Cramer suspects the Greece situation is on the verge of resolution.
The Chinese implosion finally hit home as well, and it finally was clear that the country is in a downturn. Essentially Europe is stalled and China is headed down—not good news.
"You know me, though, there is always a bull market somewhere. So excuse me for thinking anything positive after a session when gloom ruled the day…but did you notice what wasn't talked about?" Cramer asked.
The one thing not talked about on Wednesday was the Fed.
It was just two weeks ago that the biggest issue on the markets was when the Fed would raise interest rates. However, would the Fed really want to tighten now when China could be crashing, oil is plummeting and iron is down 16 percent in one week?
So with the euro stabilizing, the Fed on hold, low rates and continued growth in the U.S.—Cramer sees a perfect storm brewing to buy stocks.
The "Mad Money" host recommended using the broad-based downturn to buy the stocks of high quality companies at prices that you like. This volatile market could bring a rare opportunity to take advantage of.
Earnings season was officially kicked off on Wednesday as the market heard from aluminum maker Alcoa. Cramer is always eager to hear from this company, as it provides terrific insight into everything related to cars, aerospace, trucks, commercial construction, packaging and heavy industrial machinery.
CEO Klaus Kleinfeld has been carefully turning this company away from being a commodity aluminum producer and into a manufacturer of high-value added aluminum products for airplanes and autos. Part of this transformation was Alcoa's strategic acquisitions of First Rixson and RTI International metals.
Alcoa reported on Wednesday, and while the company missed Wall Street's estimates by 4 cents when it reported, it did deliver higher than expected revenue.
Could the company's transformation drive the stock higher in the long run? To find out, Cramer spoke with Alcoa's chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld.
"We are moving along the lines of what I have always talked about, the transformation of our core. More value add, becoming a lightweight metals expert while we are increasing the competitiveness of our commodity business," Kleinfeld said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Broadcom: "You own Broadcom? You just got a takeover bid! Congratulations, let's move on."
Lannett Co: "It's an acquiring pharmaceutical company and those stocks are all being hit right now. I think you need to wait three or four days into the decline, and then I would do some buying because I agree with you. Fast growing and doing the right stuff."