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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The selling is no longer contained to just the high-flyers, Jim Cramer said on Mad Money Monday after a big down day on Wall Street. Cramer said the economy may be getting better but the markets sure aren't showing it.
Despite the strength in many of the recession stocks today, Cramer said our economy is most certainly not slipping back into a recession. Housing and auto sales are just too strong for that, he continued. That makes the rally in bond prices, which is pushing interest rates lower, so perplexing.
What's likely happening is what Cramer called "money-manager group think," which presumes that if interest rates are going lower then there is less demand for money. That, in turn, means less business, lower earnings and big disappointments down the road. Thus, money managers are selling now to avoid the pain they fear will be coming as earnings season kicks off later this week.
This is indeed confusing, Cramer continued -- everyone assumed a reduction in Federal Reserve bond buying would cause rates to spike up, not fall even lower. Nonetheless, the safe-haven stocks have gotten even safer. Investors are clamoring for stocks like Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report), a stock Cramer owns for his charitable trust, Action Alerts PLUS, which offers safety and a big dividend yield that got boosted 7% just today.
What comes next? Cramer told viewers not to get too negative because the selling will subside eventually, and things really are better than they appear.
Executive Decision: James Hughes
For his "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down with James Hughes, CEO of First Solar (FSLR - Get Report), the best-of-breed solar solutions company that currently trades at just 14.7 times earnings.
Hughes said the First Solar of today is not the same company from a few years ago. He said his company is now vertically integrated, offering everything from design to financing for solar projects, which has allowed it to broaden its customer base significantly.
First Solar has also invested heavily in technology, recently setting a world record for solar module efficiency in its labs. Hughes said in just a few years, the company will have modules hitting 20% efficiency, making them competitive with fossil fuels, even without government subsidies.
When asked about the future of solar power, Hughes said he expects the industry to grow to 50 gigawatts in the next few years, which will include both smaller distributed projects as well as utility-scale generation installations. He said solar largely helps in peak power situations today. But as storage technology gets better, solar will also be used for baseline power.
Cramer reiterated that First Solar is a very inexpensive stock that tells a great story.
When so many stocks are on the decline, there tends to be deeper trends at work, Cramer told viewers. While many liken the selling in the markets today to the dot-com collapse of 2001, Cramer said to really understand what's going on investors need only look back as far as 2011 through 2013.
Cramer explained that in the low-growth environment of the past few years, the influence of growth-oriented momentum funds has grown dramatically. These money managers didn't care about earnings, they only cared about growth and piled into names like Netflix (NFLX - Get Report), Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report) and Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report).
But now the investment bankers have honed in on this lucrative segment of the market and have been offering up every fast-growing software, cloud and biotech name they can find. With so much supply, the momentum segment has all but collapsed, taking a big chunk of the markets with them.
Additional, the lockup period for many deals that have already come public have expired, causing a flood of sellers. Cramer said investors can look for these momentum names to continue to get pounded as this voracious selling runs its course.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Encana (ECA - Get Report), Ecolab (ECL - Get Report), Kindred Biosciences (KIN), Radian Group (RDN - Get Report), Genworth Financial (GNW - Get Report), Royal Bank (RBS) and Banco Santander (SAN).
Executive Decision: Mark Trudeau
In his second "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer also sat down with Mark Trudeau, president and CEO of Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals (MNK - Get Report), which announced Monday the acquisition of Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR) for $5.6 billion.
Trudeau said the Questcor acquisition is an incredible opportunity that will be very complimentary to his company's business. He said Questcor is not only profitable but affords the combined company the size and scale to really make a difference; also, Questcor has great cash flow.
Trudeau said that even without the tax benefits of buying an Irish entity, the Questcor deal still would have made sense. He was also not worried about the ongoing investigation over some of Questcor's promotional practices, saying the due diligence was very thorough and he's comfortable with the acquisition.
Trudeau is not worried about generic competition. He said Questcor's main drug, Acthar, is very difficult to replicate as it's derived from natural substances.
Cramer said with this acquisition Mallinckrodt is incredibly inexpensive.
Best for Your Buck
Kicking off a new week-long series entitled "Best For Your Buck," which highlights Cramer's favorite stocks at various price points, Cramer took a look at the over-$500 a share stocks and crowned Priceline (PCLN) his favorite.
Trading at a scant 19 times earnings with a 19% long-term growth rate, Cramer said Priceline is incredibly cheap, especially given the huge secular shift away from booking travel through travel agents and booking it yourself online.
There are many things to like about Priceline, Cramer continued, including the company's move towards more lucrative hotel bookings, its international opportunities and its brilliant acquisition of Kayak a few years ago.
Cramer said some investors may be put off by this stock's over $1,000-a-share price point but make no mistake, this stock is not expensive, especially with Europe finally making a comeback.
To watch replays of Cramer's video segments, visit the Mad Money page on CNBC.
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-- Written by Scott Rutt in Washington, D.C.
To email Scott about this article, click here: Scott Rutt