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Cramer Sorts Through Bank Stocks Confusion

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If there's an area of the market that confounds investors, it's the financials.

Over the past few days, Wall Street has had a hard time embracing the banks; the ETF that tracks the sector is only modestly higher.

The price action doesn't make sense to Cramer; especially after the latest earnings reports. The Mad Money host has dug deep into the releases, and he thinks there's a lot to like.

"JPMorgan blew away the wealth management business, which is lucrative. They obviously are in terrific shape when it comes to reserves. And the international business is very strong," said Cramer.

The Mad Money host found the same kind of relative strength in other banks.

"Wells Fargo has the kind of growth from its branches that most retailers would kill for. I love that model," he said. Cramer added that Citigroup and Goldman also both had positive things to say, too.

Yet, the stocks are languishing.

Cramer thinks the tepid reaction to relatively good results speaks volumes about the sentiment surrounding the sector and the future prospects of the stocks.

That is, the Street remains very nervous. Whether it's the impact of new regulations, the potential ripple from Europe or signs that the global economy may be weaker than expected – the Street just can't reconcile these issues.

tirc83 | E+ | Getty Images

"I think about it like this," said Cramer. "Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo all reported remarkable quarters, far better than you would think possible given how lousy the economy is," Cramer said.

But these stocks didn't rally because the Street "wants someone to hold their hand."

"Unfortunately, these companies aren't in any position to be able to hold someone's hand and tell them not to worry," Cramer said.

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Therefore the takeaway becomes, "JPMorgan didn't lend enough to home buyers. So it's no good and the stock goes down," Cramer explained. "Or the 13% of Wells Fargo's business that is home mortgages didn't deliver what we expected so the Street's disappointed."

Despite his belief that "if we get a better economy these stocks could ramp higher," Cramer said investors need to acknowledge that skepticism continues to prevail in the sector. It's probably not going away anytime soon and for that reason, "these stocks may be darn hard to own," Cramer said.

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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SPDR FIN SEL
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C
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JPM
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GS
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WFC
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