As much as some market-watchers may discredit the Dow Jones industrial average, the index has always been a trustworthy proxy for stock performance for CNBC's Jim Cramer.
"In fact, right now it's more important than it's been in a long time because its snapshot of 2017 gives you a terrific view of the winners and losers in classic big-cap names, with the overall score a very representative plus-25 percent," the "Mad Money" host said.
To get a better snapshot of what worked and what didn't in 2017, Cramer ran through the Dow's best and worst performers.
First and worst of all the Dow components was General Electric, down a staggering 45 percent after a rough 2017.
"It takes a special kind of industrial to lose that much value during the best economy in ages," Cramer said. "GE refuses to be introspective about what went wrong. That's a bummer. I certainly hope that new CEO John Flannery explains why the company couldn't earn the $2 this year that it forecast at the end of 2016. If he walks us through it and takes the big write-down we've all been expecting, I think it'll be greeted positively."
Flannery's laundry list of turnaround tasks includes stemming the losses from GE's many struggling divisions and selling assets to pay for the company's dividend.
"I can't believe that GE's truly as horrendous as the stock suggests, but I've been wrong all the way down," Cramer admitted. "I'm keeping it on a tight leash for my charitable trust, and I've issued more mea culpas for owning this one for my trust than any other stock the trust has owned in 15 years, but I want to see what Flannery lays out before I decide whether to bail into the newfound buying we've seen over the last couple days."