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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- "Stay the course." That was Jim Cramer's advice to his Mad Money viewers Tuesday after a triple-digit loss for the markets that began with Cramer ringing the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange to commemorate Mad Money's 10th anniversary.
While some pundits may liken today's market to that of 2008, nothing could be further from the truth. Back then the markets faced systemic risk from a banki system teetering on the edge and gigantic companies going under. Even Cramer advised investors to get out of stocks in October 2008, a call that sidestepped a 50% decline.
The markets of today are different, however. There is no systemic risk, only a normal correction based on legitimate worries that could affect a wide swath of the markets.
What are those risks? For one, higher interest rates will put pressure on the earnings of companies that sell overseas. Then there are the big mutual funds that bet on the higher yields from emerging markets that are now being forced to sell. Higher interest rates will also make bonds more attractive, putting pressure on the utilities and other high-yielding stocks.
But unlike 2008, the U.S. banking system is strong, the U.S. consumer is healthy and low oil prices are boosting the entire economy. Is there price risk for certain sectors of the market? You bet. Are some stocks vulnerable? Absolutely. But Cramer said that's no reason to yell "fire" in a crowded theater, it's only cause to trim some positions and be ready to buy when the selling subsides.
Why the Dollar Matters
With so much talk about the the strong U.S. dollar and what it means to the stock market, even Cramer is throwing up his arms and saying "enough already." But then you look at today's market action, and you can see why the dollar matters so much.
Yesterday, Qualcomm (QCOM) announced a massive $15 billion stock repurchase plan, along with a 14% boost in its dividend. How did the market respond to this great news from a great company? Shares closed down 1%.
Then there's Skyworks Solutions (SWKS - Get Report), another fabulous tech company that today announced its being added to the S&P 500. That stock too, closed down 1%, captured by the vortex of a sinking market.
And that's why Cramer said he, too, focuses on the U.S. dollar, trying to educate viewers on what it means for there markets. Here are three great stocks with three great stories to tell, but in the end, none of it matters if the markets are throwing a fire sale.
Executive Decision: Mark Fields
For his first exclusive "Executive Decision" segment, Cramer sat down for the first time with Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford (F - Get Report), and the successor to Alan Mulally, who appeared on Mad Money on countless occasions.
Fields said that early in his career he spent a lot of time overseas, something that has made him a "citizen of the world." He said he spent a lot of time listening and understanding what customers wanted and needed and now has the opportunity to communicate those lessons throughout the company.
When asked about Ford's approach, Fields explained that his company is always proactively looking at the environment, putting plans into place and monitoring the performance of those plans. He note that Ford introduced 24 new vehicles around the globe last year and has another 15 coming this year.
Turning to the topic of rising interest rates, Fields said he isn't worried because higher rates are a sign of a healthy economy and a healthy economy is always a great thing for Ford. But, he added, there's never a bad time to introduce a great product into the marketplace.
Fields concluded by saying that Ford remains committed to innovation, which includes the next generation of connected car. He said there are already 10 million cars on the road with Ford's Sync technology platform and that is only just the beginning.
In the Lightning Round, Cramer was bullish on Ventas (VTR - Get Report), Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA - Get Report), Dominion Resources (D - Get Report) and American Electric Power (AEP - Get Report).
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer sounded off against Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, as his proposal that the Federal Reserve needs to raise interest rates swiftly.
Cramer is no stranger to keeping a critical eye on Fed policy. His 2007 "they know nothing" rant against the Fed's raising of interest rates 17 times, moves which directly led to the great recession, will live in infamy as they were recorded in the Fed's own meeting minutes followed by the note "laughter."
But this time, it's different. A cool-headed Cramer noted that in a vacuum, the fed funds rate IS too low, but we're not in a vacuum. It would be downright dangerous to raise rates in an environment where Europe, Mexico and Brazil's currencies are so fragile. Plus, there's simply no emergency here at home that would warrant a prompt and decisive rise in rates.
Once again, Cramer's advice of "stay the course" was fitting, as he hoped that cooler heads will prevail at the Fed's next meetings.
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