Key Takeaways:

  • After a long stretch of suffering, big bank stocks look primed for solid Q1 earnings
  • Supportive factors include heavy trading activity, rising rates, strong IPO landscape
  • Challenges ahead include remaining loan-loss provisions, possible tax increases

After years of standing on the sidelines while other sectors ran the ball downfield, banks are finally back under center approaching the kickoff of Q1 reporting season. Sure, bank earnings were generally pretty good in Q4, but arguably all the fundamental elements really didn’t join the huddle until the quarter that just ended.

This is starting to show up on Wall Street. So-called “value stocks,” which include banks, outplayed growth sectors like Tech early this year, a major turnaround from the recent past. This week, the biggest U.S. financial institutions open the books and investors…

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