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Buy the Banks!

“Call it the great bank stock rally. The big bank breakout. Call it something,” Cramer said Wednesday, “but please take notice of it.”

Why? Because no one is championing it. All the talk about banks is negative: Expect more cuts in earnings estimates. CEOs are leaving their posts. Attorneys general are filing suits. Home price will continue to decline. And 2011 will be a bad year, especially for this sector.

But still, the bank stocks push higher. Bank of America , Wells Fargo , JPMorgan Chase —they’re all “going up in giant gulps,” Cramer said, “and taking out levels that were supposed to throw them back each time.” Given that, he asked, “Can you afford to miss gains in PNC or U.S. Bancorp ?”

Cramer said the media and the analysts will jump on his bandwagon next year, generating a list of potential takeovers in the sector and upping earnings estimates with gusto. But they won’t do so most likely until the bulk of the move has been made. His advice? Don’t make the same mistake—buy the best banks now.

“This is the group to own,” Cramer said, “the one to own for 2011.”

When this story published, Cramer’s charitable trust owned Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and PNC Financial.

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