Stop Trading!: Banks to Buy

The apparent demise of Lehman Brothers is the talk of the day, and it follows an early in the week government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. American International Group and Washington Mutual, too, have problems of their own. But these much talked-about stories overshadow whole sectors that seem to be outperforming.

Since the lows of July, banks are up 47%, retailers 28% and transports 14%. Cramer’s been focused on the banks of late, pointing out strong performances from US Bancorp, Wells Fargo, Zion Bancorp and BB&T. He’s predicting many banks will benefit as the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. takes over failing institutions and sells their deposits at a discount.

And the financials won’t be the only companies enjoying government intervention. Cramer expects Ford and General Motors to get a “blank check” from Washington, especially with so many votes at stake in November.

“I don’t think anyone is going to stand up and vote against GM and Ford in an election year,” he said.

Oil stocks may be up on the imminent landfall of Hurricane Ike, but if the storm doesn’t hit as hard as expected, Cramer said that oil could open Monday at $90 a barrel. The resultant lower gas prices will boost stocks like FedEx, VF Corp., Home Depot and Sears Holdings, all of which have seen a good run-up in share price.

Lastly, Cramer noted the 50,000 Sept. 15 puts and 30,000 Sept. 17 puts on Citigroup. Lehman , AIG and Washington Mutual all came under the same kind of pressure. He’s guessing Citi is next.

“I am warning Citigroup right now that [hedge funds] are going to raid you,” he said. “Just get ready.”

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