Cramer's playbook for Wednesday's defining Federal Reserve meeting

  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer weighs the possible outcomes of Wednesday's Federal Reserve meeting.
  • Cramer predicts the potential effects of the Federal Open Market Committee's statements on bank, consumer goods and health care stocks.

Monday's market-wide sell-off may have put a lid on the bank stocks, but CNBC's Jim Cramer was already looking ahead to a midweek event that could determine their fate.

"The financials took it on the chin today, in part because we have a Fed meeting this week with a new chair, Jerome Powell," the "Mad Money" host said. "The banks will get slammed if Powell says the economy has weakened to the point where we may only need three rate hikes this year."

Market-watchers have anticipated Powell's first Federal Open Market Committee meeting since the new chairman was appointed by President Donald Trump in November.

Widely seen as a moderate, reasonable choice to succeed the steady-as-she-goes Janet Yellen, Powell is expected to issue the first interest rate raise of 2018 in Wednesday's news conference.

Cramer hoped that instead of saying that the economy has weakened, Powell would decide to "be data-dependent," meaning that the Fed would play it by ear when it came to rate hikes.

"Of course, the opposite could also happen," Cramer acknowledged. "Powell could say the economy's still as hot as the last time he spoke not that long ago."

If Powell says that the economy is strong, that would suggest higher interest rates are coming, which would cause health care, real estate investment trust and high-yielding consumer stocks to decline, Cramer said.

"Now, a 3 percent yield, we've discovered, ... won't protect you if rates keep creeping higher, as anyone who owns the stock of the food conglomerate Kraft Heinz knows after the stock's recent breakdown to an almost 4 percent yield," the "Mad Money" host warned.

Still, Cramer caught a glimpse of potentially good news when he was studying the technicals of the bank and health care stocks.

"I saw all of the banks were up last week and all of the health cares were down. If we get a statement from the Fed that inflation is under control, so they'll do a hike and maybe more if things stay strong, you could actually catch a rally in both sectors come Thursday," the "Mad Money" host said. "But Thursday's a lifetime away."

WATCH: Cramer calms investors after Monday's market sell-off

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