Cramer: Bizarre pattern driving oil stocks higher

There's something bizarre happening with oil stocks—but Jim Cramer likes what he is seeing.

Every time oil goes up, oil stocks go with it. When crude goes down, the corresponding stocks go down less. Then oil goes back up, and new highs are reached in the oil stocks. All that means they are continuing to inch higher and higher.

"This is a new dynamic where we recognized that no matter what happens in this country, there are forces overseas that are truly driving the bus," the "Mad Money" host said. Simultaneously, "the shale depletion rate picks up, making the majors more valuable and the independents more vulnerable."

Jahi Chikwendiu | The Washington Post | Getty Images
"The notion that oil is going to head back to the $30s is being taken off the table." -Jim Cramer

Exxon and Chevron were perfect examples of Cramer's theory. Those stocks are trading around levels when West Texas crude was at $50, yet oil didn't push through that level on Monday.

"That is a sign, to me, that investors recognize the down side of the range has changed. The notion that oil is going to head back to the $30s is being taken off the table," Cramer said.

If oil had really bottomed, than perhaps Pioneer Natural Resources didn't make a mistake when it purchased 28,000 acres from Devon last week. Meanwhile, the stock is still 3 points below where it was when Pioneer offered 5.25 million shares to finance the deal.

Oil service company Schlumberger also tends to trade with Exxon and Chevron, and is now within distance of recent highs.

Cramer also sees natural gas continuing to roll higher, and it's taking stocks like Southwestern along with it.

"I know that like many of these others, you sure haven't caught the bottom, but it might make sense to put on a light position now," Cramer said.

The most impacted group from the rise in oil and gas are the banks. Many have an extensive amount of energy exposure, yet Cramer noted that the banks are trading at levels that suggest the book value is nonsense.

Cramer recommended Wells Fargo as the best option from the banks. It was initially pulled down by oil, and could move back up with it.

"With the downside of oil defined, and the up side meaning less to the stocks, there is a lot to like here," Cramer said.

This is especially important now that a stronger dollar is likely not to hurt as much as it would have if the Federal Reserve raised rates. Thus, given the strength of other currencies around the world, crude will only grow in strength.

Finally, good news for the oil patch.

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