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With the Federal Reserve meeting on the horizon, Jim Cramer wants investors to be searching for stocks that could be bought regardless of what happens with interest rates.
And if the Fed provides a sternly-worded statement about the need for higher rates, Cramer expects that it could send the whole market into a nosedive.
"We know that the banks have been hammered … However, the non-bank financials, especially the payment plays, have been holding up pretty nicely," the "Mad Money" host said.
To gain further insight on the credit card and payment plays, Cramer turned to Bob Lang, founder of ExplosiveOptions.net and a colleague of Cramer's at TheStreet.
Lang took a look at the charts of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal, and found that the charts are looking up for all three. Many fund managers like to mirror the composition of the and want to have financial exposure, without buying the banks. Hence, they turn to non-bank financials like credit cards and payment processors because they don't need higher rates to make money.
When Lang looked at the charts for Visa, he found it currently lingering around its floor of support around $81 a share. He thinks it could be ready to run back toward highs because Visa's volume expanded this month when the stock rallied.
Volume is often used as a lie detector for reading charts. If the stock rallies on strong volume that means the move is legitimate because it indicates that big institutional money managers are buying it. When big money buys something, their purchases are so large it can push up the price.
Mastercard also made a bullish pennant pattern on the charts. This happens when the stock moves higher in the shape of a flagpole, and then trades sideways into a narrow range. The result looks like a pennant hanging on a pole.
The pennant formation is known as a continuation pattern. Typically, the action indicates that the stock has been resting before it pushes higher.
"The fact that Mastercard just broke out above the high end of the pennant today suggests that it could be ready to run again real soon," Cramer said.
PayPal was Cramer's top pick, as he owns it in his charitable trust. It recently made an inverse head-and-shoulders pattern, one of the most reliably bullish formations out there.
An inverse head-and-shoulders pattern is created when there is a decline in the middle of two small declines, and it looks like the head-and-shoulders of a person hanging upside down. What matters about this pattern, though, is that it often predicts a major move higher.
Lang predicted that PayPal could go to $42 now that it has moved above the neckline of the pattern. He also found the Chaikin Money Flow oscillator is in positive territory, a sign of strong institutional buying.
Ultimately, Lang found that all three stocks could be headed higher, and he likes Mastercard the best.
"While PayPal is my favorite, I like all three and I would buy any one of these into weakness if the Fed gives us a statement that is too hawkish tomorrow," Cramer said.