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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- America is now caught in a tug of war between Europe and China, Jim Cramer told his "Mad Money" TV show viewers Thursday. He said that while our markets are still being held hostage by economies around the globe, at least now there's a counter-balance to all of the negativity of Europe.

Cramer was referring to the Chinese interest rate cut, the first for that country in four years, that was announced early Thursday. Before then all eyes were focused on the 10-year Spanish bond auction, noted Cramer. Once the Chinese news broke, the Standard & Poor's 500 futures were off to the races. But by the end of the day that momentum had stalled, said Cramer, as the markets once again focused on Europe.

Cramer said the Chinese rate cut matters as interest rates in that country are still near 6%, leaving lots of room for future cuts. While the media may have been focused on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Cramer once again noted that Bernanke is no longer in control of U.S. markets; our interest rates are already hovering near zero. "The U.S. is out of ammo," said Cramer.

That's why stocks like Cummins ( CMI - Get Report) were able to rally, said Cramer. It wasn't because of strong U.S. truck sales, but the promise of stronger Chinese truck sales. Several other industrials with Chinese exposure also rallied on similar theories.

Cramer said our reprieve today may have only been short-lived, but at least there's something positive to counter the European news, and that's something positive that we didn't have yesterday.

Retail Turnaround King

When it comes to companies with no European exposure, investors can't do must better than Ascena Retail ( ASNA - Get Report), a domestic retailer that's turning old, forgotten brands into profits for its shareholders.

Cramer said Ascena, which is known for its Dress Barn, Maurice's and Justice chains of retail stores, is the king of retail turnarounds and now that the company announced it's buying Charming Shoppes ( CHRS - Get Report), better known for Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug, the company just got a whole lot better.

Shares of Ascena popped 10% when the news was announced on May 2, but since then has pulled back with the broader markets. Many saw the company's May 31 conference call as a two-cent-a-share earnings miss, but Cramer noted that Ascena's quarter was actually fine after backing out costs associated with the acquisition.

Ascena has a track record of delivering on its acquisitions, said Cramer. Twelve months after Ascena's last two acquisitions, shares were up 97% and 145% and Cramer said he expects similar gains again this time.

The key to Ascena's success is managing expectations, said Cramer, something not seen at J.C. Penney ( JCP - Get Report). Ascena takes things slow, he said, under-promising and overdelivering. Ascena is one company that knows how to revitalize retail brands and give customers exactly what they're looking for.

Cramer said he would be a buyer of Ascena at current levels.

Executive Decision

In the "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer once again spoke with Patrick Doyle, president and CEO of Domino's Pizza ( DPZ - Get Report), a stock that's risen 220% since Cramer first got behind the company's remarkable turnaround in Jan 2010, but also one that seems to have stalled recently, down 21% in the past two months.

Doyle said Domino's, which now has 9,000 locations in 60 countries, passed a milestone last month when it booked $1 billion in online orders over the past year. He said that 30% of all orders are now coming in online, which provides customers with a better experience and reduces Domino's labor costs in the process.

Doyle also mentioned that 7% of all U.S. orders are now coming via mobile through the company's apps on both Apple's ( AAPL - Get Report) iOS and Google's ( GOOG - Get Report) Android platforms. Doyle added that Facebook ( FB - Get Report) is "working great for us," as the company continues to push into social channels.

When asked about the company's earnings per share miss this quarter, Doyle explained that expectations got a little ahead of themselves, but revenue actually met company forecasts. Doyle noted that Domino's now has more stores and revenue stemming from outside the U.S., so international sales, especially those in China and India, will be drivers for the company.

Cramer said in an environment with commodity costs falling, the Domino's story remains in tact and the stock has fallen farther than it should have.

Lightning Round

Here's what Cramer had to say about caller's stocks during the "Lightning Round":

Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A - Get Report): "Yes, that stock is a buy here."

United Rentals ( URI - Get Report): "Because the economy is stalled I can't push this one as hard as I'd like. We need construction in this country for that stock to work."

Heckmann ( HEK): "It's a very speculative stock. I want to stick with it for the long term."

Equity Residential ( EQR - Get Report): "Don't sell that one. They're in the sweet spot. You've got a winner there."

Duke Energy ( DUK - Get Report): "Duke is a king. I like it. Buy, buy, buy."

Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.B - Get Report): "I think it's a terrific stock but you need to hold it for the long term."

'Mea Culpa'

In the Thursday "Sell Block" segment, Cramer issued a big "mea culpa" for his March 21 recommendation of Men's Warehouse ( MW), a stock that's now down 25% since that recommendation. Cramer said simply, "I blew it," but vowed to teach and learn from his mistakes.

Cramer said that when investment theses go awry, it's natural to go into denial. But in the case of Men's Warehouse, the company's three-cents-a-share earnings miss coupled with weaker revenue and same-store sales leaves little to deny. "Management clearly blew it," said Cramer, "but so did I." That's why Cramer said it's better to accept one's losses.

So where did Cramer go wrong? He said that he recommended Men's Warehouse on the premise that an increase in hiring would mean more demand for men's suits, but also that the company was taking share from smaller mom-and-pop retailers. Thus when hiring began to decline and rivals like Joseph A. Bank ( JOSB) reported weaker sales, that should have been the tip-off to sell Men's Warehouse.

Likewise, Cramer said he should have realized that much of the share gain from smaller stores had already passed. There simply aren't a lot of competitors left, the share gain has largely already happened. Cramer said that taking market share is not a big enough driver to undo a slowing economy, which is why he should have recommended selling Men's Warehouse ahead of the quarter.

Men's Warehouse is now in the penalty box for one quarter, said Cramer, and the company must prove it can execute before investors should consider buying back in. He said that companies like Cintas ( CTAS - Get Report), which rents uniforms, are also in jeopardy because they rely on employment to grow.

No Huddle Offense

In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer reminded viewers that in just a month's time earnings season will once again be upon us, a time when beating analyst expectations can send a stock soaring, while missing them can be devastating.

That's why Cramer said investors should use the current strength in the markets to trim their positions in tech and the banks and move into safer, domestic security plays that offer dividend protection. He said earnings are likely to be bad given a slowing Europe, which is why stocks like Pepsico ( PEP - Get Report), American Electric Power ( AEP - Get Report) and ConEd ( ED - Get Report), with their great yields and limited exposure to Europe, make the most sense.

Don't be misled by these macro moves higher, Cramer concluded. They're often wrong and very misleading when the earnings start coming in.

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

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At the time of publication, Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS had a position in AAPL.

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