(Story updated to add Cramer's Lightning Round picks, his interview with the CEO of Western Gas Partners and his concluding remarks on sticking with Lions Gate Entertainment.) NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With the Chinese economy slow, it's time to buy American, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Tuesday. He said the stock market is no longer following China's every whim, but rather solid growth right here at home. Cramer said the "USA on, China off" sentiments could clearly be seen in today's trading action. With the Chinese economy still slowing, stocks like BHP Billiton ( BHP), the Australian mining company that supplies China with tons of coal, saw its shares slump, taking mining equipment maker Joy Global ( JOY) down with it. Steelmaker Nucor ( NUE) also saw its shares shed $1 a share today. Likewise with engine maker Cummins ( CMI), which also has Chinese exposure. Meanwhile here at home, Cramer said regional banks like SunTrust Banks ( STI) or banking giant Wells Fargo ( WFC), saw no such decline. Cramer said American restaurants like Panera Bread ( PNRA) and Darden Restaurants ( DRI) saw shares rally nicely today. Cramer was also still bullish on the home improvement stocks, mainly Home Depot ( HD) and rival Lowes ( LOW), as well as American retailers like Ross Stores ( ROST) and Amazon.com ( AMZN). Cramer said with U.S. hiring on the rise, along with commercial construction and the rebuilding of U.S. company inventories, the USA trade is one that will likely be with us for some time to come.
Off the ChartsIn this segment, Cramer went head to head with colleague Mark Sebastian over the chart of CBOE Volatility Index ( VIX), more commonly known as "the VIX." The VIX is often seen as a fear index for the markets, denoting investor confidence. The VIX currently trades at $15.58, well below its historic average of $20. But what's in an average? Cramer said it depends on the context. Sebastian looked at the VIX over various periods of time. Between 1992 and 1997, a period of market growth, the VIX hovered tightly around $15, only breaking $20 five times over the entire period. But in 1997, the VIX began to build and between 1998 and 2003, the index saw constant volatility as the markets endured the dot-com crash and the Enron bankruptcy. During this period, a spike in the VIX to $40 was not uncommon. But the Vix again settled to $15 between 2003 and 2008, as the markets once again enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity. Only with the financial panic of 2008, did the VIX again begin to spike, this time upwards of $70 during the markets' darkest hours. According to Sebastian's assessment, the VIX moves in stages averaging around five years. Our latest period of volatility, from 2008 through 2012, is nearing a close, and we should once again enjoy several years of stability and growth. Cramer concurred.
Yield and Growth PlayIn the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer spoke with Joseph Carrabba, chairman, president and CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources ( CLF), a mining company that recently raised its dividend to 3.5% and left its growth outlook unchanged, despite bearish comments from its rivals regarding slowing growth in China. Carrabba said that he's still bullish on the outlook for Cliffs Natural Resources, which is why the company decided to give back some of its cash to shareholders by raising its dividend. He said while things are indeed slowing in China, the coal market remains at 680 million tons a year. Carrabba said even single-digit growth in a market that large provides for a healthy coal industry. Where Cliffs differs from its rival however is in its diversification. Carrabba said that Cliffs operates where the markets are, not just where the mines are located. He said that allows the company to build a great client base all over the world and gives it the ability to shift recources where needed. When asked where Cliffs prefers to do business, Carrabba citied its $5 billion investment in Canada. He said that Canada has a proactive government that not only likes mining operations but also mines its resources in a responsible manner. Turning to emerging markets, Carrabba said "the genie is out of the bottle" in emerging markets, with people excited about the wealth they're creating and about having a better lifestyle. Carrabba said once people experience nicer things, they want to stick with them, and many of those nice things rely on steel. Cramer said that investors looking for yield and growth, as well as exposure to both China and the red-hot U.S. market, need to consider Cliffs Natural Resources.