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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Be very careful," Jim Cramer cautioned the viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Thursday after a 161-point gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Cramer said that things may look better today, but they could be worse tomorrow.

Cramer said bluntly that there are no lifeguards in the stock market, and euphoria is often followed by fear a few days later. He said there are still three strong currents tugging at the markets, and any of the three could pull us back under tomorrow.

The ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan is, of course, front and center in everyone's mind, said Cramer. And while Japan's use of the military to help fight the looming disaster may seem like positive news, any number of variables, including a change in wind direction towards Tokyo, could spell disaster again.

The markets are also still mulling over the unrest in Bahrain, and the price of oil, which after a brief reprieve, started again to the upside today. There's also fears of troubles in Portugal, Spain and Ireland, he added, with the price of the Euro also still in play. Either of these two issues could come back to haunt the markets on any given day.

Cramer said he's still bullish on Freeport-McMoRan ( FCX), Joy Global ( JOYG) and Potash ( POT), but said investors need to be careful with everything else.

Panic Selling

"I don't know how long this rally will last," Cramer admitted to his viewers, but, he said, staying in the game will make you money.

In a market where timing is everything, Cramer said that selling into a sell-off, like we had yesterday, has never been the right move. In fact, he said that during his entire 31 year career on Wall Street, panic selling has worked once, and only once.

That "once" was not the market crash in 1987, nor the dot-com bust in 2000, nor the days after 9/11, said Cramer, and it certainly wasn't this year after Egypt, or Libya or Japan. Cramer said the only time panicking made sense was in 2008, when he made the bold call on the "Today Show" that investors needed to take out any money they'd need over the next five years.

The difference in 2008 was that the financial system was breaking down, and there was systemic risk to anything associated with it. Cramer said with all other crises, the market trends down gradually, with intermittent days like today when investors can sell at better prices.

Cramer called out those who advocated selling amidst yesterday's sell off, saying that they only cost investors money. "Think about how much better prices are today than they were yesterday," he said. Panic is never, for all practical applications, the answer. There will always be a better exit price ahead.

Coal Shines

With the prospects for a bright future for nuclear power waning by the day, Cramer said that coal will be king, as its more easily transported around the globe than the other logical choice, natural gas. But which coal stocks to buy? Cramer offered up his rankings for the best, and worst, coal companies.

Topping the list is Peabody Energy ( BTU - Get Report), the largest coal producer and the one with the best export capability to Asia. Coming in second, Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR), thanks to its pending acquisition of Massey Energy ( MEE).

Also on the recommended list were Patriot Coal ( PCX), James River Coal ( JRCC) and Consol Energy ( CNX - Get Report). Cramer said any of these names would make a good investment, although he'd wait for a pullback in Consol, which is at a 52-week high.

Cramer also gave honorable mention to favorite Walter Energy ( WLT), a leader in the metallurgical coal used to make steel.

Among those stocks to avoid, Cramer said he'd steer clear of Cloud Peak Energy ( CLD), which is up 43% since its 2009 IPO, and Arch Coal ( ACI), both of which have little export capability.

Down on Natural Gas

In the Thursday "Sell Block" segment, Cramer did an official about-face on the natural gas stocks, which he has championed as a bridge fuel towards an energy independent future.

With nuclear power on the sidelines after the Japanese earthquake, many investors feel that natural gas is the logical choice to fill the gap. But Cramer noted that while coal is priced internationally, natural gas is priced locally, and without liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals to export the stuff, our natural gas is stuck right here at home.

Cramer said he's still bullish on Southwestern Energy ( SWN), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, and Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), which is transitioning away from gas and into oil, but all others are sadly only investable as a takeover.

Cramer said he'd be more bullish if the natural gas subsidy for trucks ever passes Congress, but that seems unlikely in lieu of new EPA regulations for coal which does not force polluting plant to shut down.

Cramer also reminded viewers that the U.S. Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) is not investable under any circumstance, as the fund does not own gas itself, but rather futures contracts that don't work as investors think they do.

Also on the sell block was Chart Industries ( GTLS), a stock that's up 28% in six weeks since Cramer recommended it. Cramer called Chart a "known story" and said the time to sell is now.

Perhaps the only silver lining in the natural gas story was KBR ( KBR), which is building LNG terminals for import and export. But Cramer said even this company wouldn't see any big gains from natural gas for a long time.

Lightning Round

Cramer was bullish on Boeing ( BA), McDonald's ( MCD), Verizon ( VZ), Apple ( AAPL), Kodiak Oil & Gas ( KOG)and AT&T ( T).

He was bearish on Iconix Brands ( ICON), Nike ( NKE), Golden Star Resources ( GSS), Seabridge Gold ( SA)and MedcoHealth Solutions ( MHS).

No on Tech

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer said he simply doesn't like tech stocks right now, and would be a seller of all component makers into any strength.

Cramer said even if investors believe that Japan will have little to no impact on tech, the fact remains that before the disaster the group was rocked by the prospects of a glut in tablets and slowing demand for telco equipment in China. Neither of those issues has been resolved, said Cramer.

In order for tech to power higher, noted Cramer, there needs to be ever higher earnings estimates, and companies must beat them. For a company like Qualcomm ( QCOM), Cramer said its doubtful that things are as rosy as the company believes.

"There are better places to be," said Cramer, "it's time to redeploy out capital."

--Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.

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At the time of publication, Cramer was long Southwestern Energy.

Jim Cramer, host of the CNBC television program "Mad Money," is a Markets Commentator for, Inc., and CNBC, and a director and co-founder of All opinions expressed by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are his own and do not reflect the opinions of or its affiliates, or CNBC, NBC UNIVERSAL or their parent company or affiliates. Mr. Cramer's opinions are based upon information he considers to be reliable, but neither, nor CNBC, nor either of their affiliates and/or subsidiaries warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. Mr. Cramer's statements are based on his opinions at the time statements are made, and are subject to change without notice. No part of Mr. Cramer's compensation from CNBC or is related to the specific opinions expressed by him on "Mad Money."

None of the information contained in "Mad Money" constitutes a recommendation by Mr. Cramer, or CNBC that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You must make your own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy mentioned on the program. Mr. Cramer's past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. Neither Mr. Cramer, nor, nor CNBC guarantees any specific outcome or profit, and you should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments discussed on the program. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information contained in the program, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from your own financial or investment adviser.

Some of the stocks mentioned by Mr. Cramer on "Mad Money" are held in Mr. Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio. When that is the case, appropriate disclosure is made on the program and in the "Mad Money" recap available on The Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio contains all of Mr. Cramer's personal investments in publicly-traded equity securities only, and does not include any mutual fund holdings or other institutionally managed assets, private equity investments, or his holdings in, Inc. Since March 2005, the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio has been held by a Trust, the realized profits from which have been pledged to charity. Mr. Cramer retains full investment discretion with respect to all securities contained in the Trust. Mr. Cramer is subject to certain trading restrictions, and must hold all securities in the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio for at least one month, and is not permitted to buy or sell any security he has spoken about on television or on his radio program for five days following the broadcast.