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While the sell-off on Friday may have felt very sudden, Jim Cramer has seen the market going down for a very long time. With the average stock in the down 20 percent from its highs last week, Cramer thinks investors should just get used to the notion that good news just won't matter right now. This is especially true for the financial stocks, which is just as bad as the oil group right now.
"I want to talk about the psyche of a bear market so you can understand why nothing is working and the averages can't put together enough of a winning streak to make it so you can get anything but a trading bounce," the "Mad Money " host said.
It seemed to Cramer on Thursday that the market was finally making some progress in checking off the boxes of his market bottom checklist.
So should investors take advantage of the weakness and do some buying?
With all of those boxes unchecked, options expiration and a three-day weekend, Cramer thinks it is too much to do some buying.
"Better to hold on, wait, and get a better moment," Cramer said.
After the brutal decline on Friday, Cramer wanted to get a sense of when this sell-off would finally run its course.
"We need to see total capitulation by the bulls, just an abject surrender where no one can take the pain anymore so they sell everything simply to get it over with," Cramer said.
That is why Cramer decided to take a closer look at the CBOE Volatility index (VIX), the indicator that is widely regarded as a fear gauge and is used as a proxy for the overall level of worry and terror in the averages.
Cramer turned to the charts with the help of Mark Sebastian, a technician, founder of OptionPit.com and colleague of Cramer's at RealMoney.com.
Looking at the charts of the VIX and the S&P 500, Sebastian expects that the S&P will break down below its August lows of 1,867 and the VIX will consistently trade over 30. Until this occurs, he does not think the market will find a sustainable bottom.
This means the market could have longer to go before it finds a bottom. However, the good news is that Sebastian thinks there will be time to get back, as historically this kind of a sell-off won't result in a rapid V-shaped bottom.
Buckle up, investors. Next week could be another rough one for investors.
So with this in mind, Jim Cramer shared the game plan of events and stocks on his radar next week:
Monday: Chinese Data
Cramer is anticipating some huge data out of China when it reports industrial production, retail sales and gross domestic product.
"I don't for one minute trust any of the numbers coming out of China today and I think that their economy is slowing at a rapid pace. So we have to presume these reports are going to be awful," the "Mad Money " host said.
However, ultimately Cramer will be opportunistic and look for stocks that are overdone to the downside next week.
"But cash is king right now, and stocks are pawn. Until they swap ranks on the board, the watchword is be careful out there," Cramer said.
China can hurt the markets, and oil prices have become so low that there is a severe amount of stress in the credit market. But Jim Cramer thinks there is something bigger that triggered the sell-off on Friday.
"Don't kid yourself about what this sell-off is really about. It is about a recession, the potential for a recession and what it will mean for corporate profits," the "Mad Money " host said.
The backdrop of the market has become much more negative since December. Ever since the Fed began tightening, there has been a spike in the dollar, a slowdown in consumer spending, a breakdown in the Chinese market and horrendous action for high-yield bonds.
While not all of these issues are directly related to the Fed, what the Fed does or doesn't do creates the backdrop from which stocks react.
In the wake of such a hideous day, though, Cramer reminded investors that there could still be opportunities out there. After all, there is always a bull market somewhere.
Baxalta is the biotech company that was spun-off by medical supply maker Baxter International last July. Cramer always loves a good value-creating breakup, and the Baxalta spinoff turned out to be the best case scenario possible.
For those investors that owned both Baxter and Baxalta, Cramer calculated that including dividends they would have received a 13.8 percent return since the split was announced in Mar. '14. That might not sound like much, but considering that the Dow is down approximately 2 percent over the same period, it actually outperformed the averages substantially.
And if this market ever goes higher again, I think that outperformance will look even more impressive, " Cramer said.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer gave his take on a few caller favorite stocks:
Ambarella: "You can't own any of these semis right now. Why? Because if they are in cellphones or if they are in devices, they are just way oversupplied. And then Intel really kiboshed the last of the semis."
Valley National Bancorp: "Valley National has got a 5 percent yield, and I think it's a good bank. I think I would do it."