3. Ne'er-Do-Well Banks Recuperate
A third theme is right there with the insurance companies: the banks. I think people don't understand that this group is so far behind the market that we tend to think that it is never coming back -- at least if you think about the book values.
But something happened in this market in the fourth quarter: The book value started to come to relevance as a measure of worth. If that's the case, you're going to see some remarkable moves in everything from Regions (RF), First Horizon (FHN) and Zions (ZION) to Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS), to Bank of America and Citigroup (C). These are the companies for which the book value had been suspect -- and it may no longer be suspect amid recovery in the kind of paper that is also owned by the insurers.
I know that you could argue I am leaving out the best three -- Wells Fargo (WFC), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) -- all of which I like. But the theme here is not "best of breed," which is more of an evergreen concept. The theme is the cyclical recovery of the portfolios of the ne'er-do-well banks. I wouldn't overlook Capital One (COF), either, because its credit-card business is hot. Also recall its purchase, for very little money, of the ING Direct business from ING Group (ING) -- a business that is humming.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV