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As uncertainty looms, investors digest turmoil

After another day of chaos for U.S. stocks, investors looked for protection as more uncertainty loomed on Tuesday.

U.S. equities shed more than 3.5 percent on Monday, closing off session lows in high-volume trade as fears of slowing growth in China pressured global markets. The S&P 500 ended nearly 80 points lower, off session lows of about 104 points lower but still in correction territory after the tech sector failed intraday attempts to post gains.

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Market watchers would also take cues from Asian stock markets overnight, as Japan's Nikkei 225 and South Korea's Kospi both lost ground after they opened. Lightly traded U.S. futures implied a slightly higher open Tuesday.

In a CNBC special report Monday night, Jim Cramer stressed investors need to understand that economic factors outside the U.S. drove Monday's selling. Fears about growth in China and emerging markets stirred market confusion during the session, as the Dow Jones industrial average wavered in a wide range after falling more than 1,000 points shortly after the market open.

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Stocks with mostly domestic business may create a solid foundation to ride out choppy trading, Cramer noted. Shares of home improvement retailer Home Depot and grocer Kroger, for example, both lost more than 3 percent Monday despite limited exposure to slowing international markets.

Netflix—a recently punished momentum name—also slid 7 percent Monday, though China's slowdown will have little effect on its business or existing subscribers, Cramer added. He believes that the name could hold upside for long-term investors after its recent battering.

"Why not think about a Netflix? They do not have China exposure," Cramer said.

If panic takes hold again Tuesday, some other U.S.-based companies may reach appealing entry points, he noted. Cramer said General Mills and other plays on cheap commodity inputs could have potential on another dip.

He also outlined possible dividend plays like Conoco Phillips, Chevron and Exxon Mobil, all of which continued their tumbles on Monday amid a sustained cheap crude oil environment. Cramer stressed, though, that Exxon may be the only one of the three that has a strong enough balance sheet to fully maintain its dividend.

CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.