Investors were squirming on Monday night in anticipation for Apple earnings. To Jim Cramer, investors these days live and die by the Apple sword.
Cramer traced the anxiety to a small German company called Dialog Semiconductor that released flat projections. These numbers took away the breath of many investors considering that more than 70 percent of the company's business is purportedly linked to Apple.
Thus, the market has made the assumption that Apple has too much inventory and doesn't need to make any more iPhones.
"That's why so many are panicking on Apple. Of course it is not just Apple alone. All of the Apple related semiconductor suppliers cascaded down today as if each could be in the same bad shape as Dialog," the "Mad Money" host explained. (Tweet this)
As a result, Cramer saw two groups of semiconductors break out: Those related to Apple, and those not related to Apple. That was why both Intel and Texas Instruments, which don't do a lot of business with Apple, saw their stocks soar going into their quarters.
That was also the reason why Avago, NXP Semiconductor, Skyworks Solutions, Cirrus Logic and Qorvo all told a totally different story. They are considered to be key Apple suppliers and have had their stocks plummet simply due to guilt by association to Apple.
On the eve of Apple reporting, the chilling results from Dialog have many investors reassessing whether they want to own the stock of a company that is held hostage to the actions of Apple.
"They trade like an Apple-component-ETF tail is wagging their dog," Cramer said.
Even though no one will have an update from Apple until Tuesday, Cramer cannot blame the traders for taking aggressive action in the group.
Cramer's advice on what to do?
First, take a deep breath. The growth semiconductor stocks have been going down for weeks now. Second, if you are an investor who owns these semiconductors, accept the fact that you have signed on to tag along with Apple the whole way. Third, if you want to tag along with Apple, why not just own shares of Apple?
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While Cramer does not know if Apple will report a severe shortfall, he does know that the bar has been set very high by other tech stocks. However, the price-to-earnings multiple of Apple is still cheap.
For those who do not own Apple currently, Cramer recommended to wait and see if Dialog is right. It could be an opportunity to pick up the stock at a good discount.
"But as for Apple's suppliers? I think there is no need own them. The action today is just too vicious to fathom. Who needs that level of pain?" Cramer said. (Tweet this)