Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 6:56 a.m. EDT on Real Money on May 23. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- When you see almost any market down 7%, it's pretty shocking -- except, perhaps, in the case of Japan. For the Japanese market, which has been walked higher for months, a 7% decline may not be all that much. This was a market that had been up about 50% year to date, so you are talking about a correction that still takes it down only to a 39% gain for 2013. An artificial market with a real correction should not play havoc with the rest of the world. But when it's in conjunction with still one more disappointing -- not horrendous, but disappointing -- manufacturing number from China, the heated U.S. market can't shake it off.
It's funny -- if the Federal Reserve minutes hadn't been so questioning of Ben Bernanke's bond-buying program, we might actually have had a situation that could have been shrugged off with a 4% correction -- 1.5% from top to bottom Wednesday and then 2.5% if we are lockstep with Europe Thursday. Instead, though, that dreaded fear of Fed tapering is occurring as Europe remains in a recession and as China seems to be headed into a relatively severe slowdown. As a result, this may mean that a 5%-to-7% correction over several days makes more sense.
Hey, if Japan can have it in one day, we could have it in three.Normally, I would be more sanguine and say, "OK, Japan and Europe and China have nothing to do with the housing and auto recovery in the U.S." But I am cognizant that there's a lot of hot and relatively unsophisticated money that has come in the U.S. market, lulled by the 19-straight-up-Tuesdays-no-real-correction phenomenon. That makes it more difficult to figure out whether it's worth selling down 2% or buying down 2% if the market is going to go down more anyway. True dividend-yield support after this run is not near enough, as we saw from the horrendous selloffs in utilities and real estate investment trusts over the last few days. When you layer on that we are about to embark on a three-day weekend -- when people who have ample profits are willing to sacrifice some of them to save the rest of them -- the situation isn't optimal.