Game Plan: Will Banks (Finally) Bottom Next Week?
Next week could signal the return of the banks, setting off a marketwide rally that takes us a whole lot higher.
It all depends on two important factors, Cramer said: housing and unemployment.
Declining home values and weak employment numbers have killed the banks. But earnings from Toll Brothers and Hovnanian Enterprises early next week, as well as a new jobs report Friday, June 6, might change all that.
The mortgage-backed securities at the center of the credit crisis could finally regain pricing strength if those TOL and HOV earnings showed at least some stabilization in the housing sector. A tremendous amount of pressure would be lifted off the shoulders of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. So the possibility for a bottom in housing should result in a bottom for the banks.
A decent jobs number – it doesn't even have to be spectacular, Cramer said – just adds to the good news, taking the banks, and the rest of the market, even higher. If oil drops to a reasonable level, and the usual end-of-month buying takes place, all the better for investors.
The catch here, and there always is a catch, is that if HOV and TOL report poor numbers and the U.S. has lost more jobs, Cramer's predicting next week would be horrible for the financials. American International Group, Washington Mutual , Wachovia and Bank of America could sink to multiyear lows.
But overall Cramer said he feels positive about the outcome.
The best thing for investors, though, is that no one needs to make a move until June 6. So sit tight, and wait to see what happens. If the stars align the way Cramer thinks they will, you've got your green light. If not, keep your strategy conservative.
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