Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Real Money on June 27. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- We're getting this growing consensus, from CEOs we talk to, that the U.S. gross domestic product is on about a 2% growth path -- and maybe, if stretched, 2.5%. Now, no one in their right might is going to say that's terrific. No one can be happy with that level of growth.
That's except when you consider that Europe, where 38% of the world's business is found, would kill for that -- not to mention the envy they have in South America for that kind of growth rate. It is certainly true that China has faster growth. However, we are in some weird moment when the deceleration from fast growth to slower growth is much more painful and disrupting than just permanent slower growth. The latter is exactly what the U.S. seems to be offering.
Within the confines of that kind of growth, you can see why there is something for everyone pretty much every day of the week. Just think about General Mills (GIS - Get Report) Wednesday. Think about the life cycle of an earnings report. The day starts with a headline that says revenue estimates disappoint. The stock gets hit down to $46 in premarket trading even before we've heard from the company via conference call -- and anyone who has followed this company long enough knows that Ken Powell, the CEO, always puts on a good show.So the stock starts its slow climb back up. General Mills is the perfect microcosm for the moment, because as the news unfolded it turned out there was simply no reason to sell the stock at $46. In fact, when it got to that level, it had a dividend yield of 3.25%. That's a bargain on a day when the 10-year U.S. Treasury is actually strong and yields are going down. Then, when the stock got to $47, you realized the company had already issued a pre-earnings earning, and it was basically being its old conservative self as the headlines rolled out. Then, at $48, you kind of had to say, "OK -- there's nothing new here. If the economy were downshifting to 1%, it would be a buy, but if it upshifts to 3%, it's a sell." That's why the stock finished where it had started off.