Today's huge market decline isn't the end of the world, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Friday, but it may be the end of the fairy tale world, in which some investors live, and where they believed stocks only went higher. Making money was getting a little too easy, Cramer said, but now it's going to get harder.
This was not your garden variety correction. There was no place to hide, no bounce, and no buyers in sight practically all day. It was a potent reminder that what goes up must come down, and that stocks fall a lot faster than they rise.
But it's not all bad news, Cramer added, as we're still in the middle of a great economic expansion the likes of which we've never seen, under the most pro-business president we've probably ever had. Sometime next week, it will be safe to start putting money back to work, but first you might need to do some selling, if you haven't already done so.
Cramer said he'd be a seller of any stock in your portfolio that's up big and makes you feel like a pig for still owning it. He also says to jettison any stock that's not up at all, because if you're not moving in this pro-growth world, you're probably not moving at all. Cramer said he'd also lighten up on the oil stocks given the price of crude.
But then there will be some buying to do, and Cramer's a fan of the defense stocks, aerospace, cloud computing and the Internet of things and yes, of e-commerce and the banks, which are the one group that thrives as interest rates rise.
"We were due," Cramer concluded, but that doesn't mean it's time to pack up and go home.
Cramer and the AAP team say this is exactly the kind of volatility they added a blanket of protection for when they raised cash on Tuesday. Find out what they're telling their investment club members and get in on the conversation with a free trial subscription to Action Alerts PLUS.
What was the mood of market during today's decline? Cramer checked in with CNBC colleagues Bob Pisani and Scott Wapner for their takes on the action.
Pisani said what he heard on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange was "it's about time," as many traders were happy to see volatility and stronger volumes return to the market. Over the past week, trading volume was up 12%.
Wapner said he heard similar sentiments from the investors he spoke with today, with many feeling the market had gotten too bullish, too complacent and a little euphoric. Just about everyone expected more selling at the open on Monday, but no one knows for sure if buyers will return by the close.
As for the big three names that everyone cares about, Cramer said that he doesn't think that Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report have found a bottom yet, but Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report seems like it would've gone a lot higher today if not for the big market decline.
Over on Real Money, Cramer says it was a brutal day and it's time for investors to recognize peril, not just profits. Get more of his insights with a free trial subscription to Real Money.
Eyes on Interest Rates
Continuing his conversation on the day's events, Wapner said that many investors will be taking a "wait-and-see" approach to Monday's trading and even Pete Najarian said his strategy will revolve around where the market opens.
Many hedge funds were caught off guard by the velocity of the market's volatility and also by the sudden rise in interest rates, Pete added, and anytime there are big movements, the market naturally wants to know why.
When asked about those spiking interest rates and whether the Fed is behind the curve in raising rates, Jon said as far as the economy is concerned, Janet Yellen is right where she needs to be. The market thinks otherwise though, which is why we're seeing rates begin to fluctuate.
Latest on Wells Fargo
Cramer welcomed colleagues Jon and Pete Najarian to the show to discuss the late breaking news that outgoing Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen has ordered Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report replace four board members and also cap their assets, limiting the bank's growth.
The timing of this action is curious, Cramer said, as many investors assumed Wells had put their fraudulent account issues behind them. Also curious, why was this decision handed down late on a Friday, in the middle of an already confusing day?
Pete Najarian added that this is not a case of something being taken away from Wells, but rather an action to limit their future growth. It will likely have a huge impact on the banks come Monday. Pete said the smart money will be buying other banks, like JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report into Monday's weakness, but it will likely take days or weeks for big investors to decide if they still want to stay long Wells Fargo.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) - Get Report , Eli Lilly (LLY) - Get Report , Merck (MRK) - Get Report , Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report and General Dynamics (GD) - Get Report .
Finishing up his conversation with Scott Wapner and Jon and Pete Najarian, Cramer turned to next week's trading, looking for the likely winners and losers.
Wapner said he's keeping an eye on NVIDIA (NVDA) - Get Report because that stock tends to lead the tech sector. Cramer was bullish on both Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) - Get Report , which reports on Tuesday.
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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL, GOOGL, JPM, LLY, NVDA.