Cramer: The real reason bank stocks cannot rally

Cramer: The real reason bank stocks cannot rally

Jim Cramer was practically salivating when he saw the earnings from banks this quarter. Yet, investors still won't touch the group.

"I think some of it is just plain ennui. There haven't been a lot of stocks going up on better earnings. Some of it is a belief that every time you get excited about these banks stocks they break your heart," the "Mad Money" host said.

Cramer also noted that the election year could drive the unpopularity of the group, and banks remain unpopular in Washington. He expects to see more regulation ahead in the wake of Wells Fargo's sales scandal.

If we get that December rate hike, this whole group gets some terrific gains.
Jim Cramer
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bank of America reported on Monday that it earned a whopping $1.8 billion in consumer banking, with strong deposit growth that drove net interest income higher amid a decline in expenses.

The stock quickly popped and then surrendered most of its gains on Monday. The stock basically did nothing.

"This lack of action is astounding when you consider that, with the country's largest deposit base, Bank of America is the biggest winner if the Fed does indeed raise interest rates at their December meeting, like everyone is expecting," Cramer said.

The excellent quarter from Bank of America came on the heels of strong performances from Citigroup and JPMorgan. The stocks ran into the quarter, but the gains were meager, even as JPMorgan was downgraded because of its move into and out of earnings.

The real issue, Cramer said, is that the group is cheap, but that isn't enough to entice buyers.

"If we get that December rate hike, this whole group gets some terrific gains," Cramer said.

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