As stocks sold off on Wednesday, CNBC's Jim Cramer noticed a disturbing pattern occurring in the market.
"The wrong stocks are going up," the "Mad Money" host warned. "The universe of winners has gotten incredibly small."
Cramer could count the winning stocks — almost all involved in cloud-based functions in technology — on two hands.
Among them were software vendor Workday; customer relationship management giant Salesforce.com; cloud on-boarder Red Hat; payment processor Square; big data play Splunk; and design-oriented software giant Adobe.
Cramer was worried that these stocks, along with select semiconductor plays like Lam Research, currently made up the market's few reliable winners.
"[When] we get a really narrow market, we end up with too many losers and not enough leaders, so people ultimately flee from the entire asset class," he said.
In other words, when the upside is being driven by just a handful of rip-roaring winners, people tend to give up the ghost because nothing feels safe to own, the "Mad Money" host explained.
"I actually felt good that Netflix, up 100 straight points, at last went down when it caught a downgrade," Cramer said. "Enough already."
So as Netflix and other stock market leaders settle after the monster 2017 rally, Cramer hoped that Friday's employment report from the Labor Department wouldn't cause more tailspin.
If job growth is too strong, the Federal Reserve would have cause to raise interest rates more than expected and entire sectors of the market could be put at risk, he said.
"As it is, we've already lost far too many groups, even the drug stocks, here," the "Mad Money" host said. "Red-hot tech stocks are not enough to make up for the damage."
All things considered, Cramer asked investors to be vigilant — and careful.
"Even though we got a nice relief rally today, you can't just decide, 'Hey, nothing to worry about,'" he said. "We need to remain mindful that we're operating in a treacherous new landscape since the end of January and today's sellers may not be finished or sated when they're crushing stocks, even if it feels, for the moment, that maybe we're OK again."