CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday said that investors who believe the Federal Reserve can pull off a soft landing should have bank stocks on their shopping list.
“If you think we’re headed for a full-blown recession, it’s right to avoid the bank stocks. But if you’re like me and you think the Fed can actually do some needle-threading and engineer a not-so-incredibly-hard crash landing, then these companies will make fortunes from higher rates,” he said.
The “Mad Money” host highlighted three bank stocks specifically as buys.
Here is the list:
- Wells Fargo
- Morgan Stanley
- Bank of America
“At these levels, I think Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America already reflect the recession worries, but they don’t reflect the earnings upside from the Fed’s rate hikes. … That’s why they’re worth buying,” he said.
His comments come after the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points on Wednesday, marking the biggest jump since 1994.
While stocks rose on the heels of Powell’s announcement, the bank stocks’ gains were modest. The major indices reversed Wednesday’s gains and then some on Thursday.
Cramer said the bank stocks should have rallied more than they did on the day of the Fed’s announcement, as a higher-interest environment is often good news for banks.
“Every time the Fed tightens, it means the banks can take your deposits and then instantly earn higher risk-free returns by putting them in short-term Treasurys,” he said.
“Of course, a Fed-mandated slowdown will also hurt the banks — more defaults, less demand for loans — but I think any potential weakness will be much more than offset by these much higher net interest margins,” he added.
Disclosure: Cramer’s Charitable Trust owns shares of Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley.
Sign up now for the CNBC Investing Club to follow Jim Cramer’s every move in the market.