Editor's Note: This article was originally published at 7:25 a.m. EDT on Real Money on July 15. To see Jim Cramer's latest commentary as it's published, sign up for a free trial of Real Money.
NEW YORK ( Real Money) -- What number would get China off the radar screen? At some point we should be saying, "OK, enough already. The commodity stocks are so low, and the producers are cutting back, so -- you know what? We can handle this level." At what number would we say that?
I think China may have hit it Sunday night. We got a number, the 7.5% gross domestic product growth number, and it was actually in line. That's right. It didn't disappoint. It didn't take the market down. It didn't cause people to talk wildly about the collapse of China.
It was just there.It didn't upset. It didn't thrill. Irony of ironies, it came when, at last, the lead story of The Wall Street Journal was, "China Slump Ripples Globally." Why does this confluence of data and irony matter? Because I think it might be presenting an inflection point. Go back to Europe. The market used to slump on European news pretty much every day of the week, didn't it? Remember when there were whole periods when every number had been worse than the previous one, and the market freaked out each time? Remember when we would worry about every little piece of data? Then, one day, we got some data and said, "That's not so hot -- but not that much worse than expected." Then we got some "That's almost roughly in line," and then we got some, "Eh, I guess, not so bad." Then we got, "Yeah, it figures." That progression brought stabilization to Europe and to the rest of the world. Go over that litany. At no point did data ever come in "better than expected." We've still only seen a smattering of data that is better than expected out of Europe, but look how high it has gone. It is now in "upside surprise" mode, not downside surprise. That's quite a journey. These days I am not hearing the big gasps out of the China data. On Monday I actually saw data that initially drove up the Australian dollar, which is sensitive to China. I have watched the Baltic Freight Index go higher for many weeks now, and that was a fabulous leading indicator on the way down. Obviously, the world price of oil is being pulled up by financial buying as a hedge against inflation, but I believe it's also being buoyed by Chinese demand. Of course, that is pretty strong, with an economy growing at 7.5%, as we learned last night To put it in a nutshell, for about a year now we have been hearing, "Sure, it's bad -- but, when compared with the rest of the world, well, they would kill for that growth." When we hear that, we quickly dismiss it because we know that China's supposed to grow in the double digits. What happens if China doesn't go back to double digits? What happens if we just get, "That's not so hot, but not worse than expected," followed by "That's roughly in line," and then, "Eh?" We get Europe -- in China. I'll take it! Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, has no positions in the stocks mentioned.