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Bank Stock Roundup: Positive Catalysts Drive Bank Stocks — PNC, WFC, C in Focus

Zacks

Over the last five trading days, performance of banking stocks was overtly positive. The bullish trend was largely driven by progress in tax reform bill, favorable economic data and positive comments by Jerome H. Powell — President Trump's nominee for Fed Chairman.

Powell’s comments in support of lesser regulations cheered investors. Apart from this, stability in the Fed's policy despite leadership change is a good sign for the banking sector. Also, encouraging economic data (surge in consumer confidence and higher-than-expected GDP rate) point toward an improving economy.

All these favorable factors drove banking stocks higher. Further, banks continued with their initiatives to improve operating efficiency and strengthen profitability through restructuring businesses.



(Read: Bank Stock Roundup for the week ending Nov 10, 2017)

Important Developments of the Week

1. PNC Bank, the banking services arm of The PNC Financial Services Group PNC, announced a definitive agreement to acquire The Trout Group, LLC, provider financial services to the healthcare industry. The acquisition is in sync with the company’s goal offer long-term relationship-based advice to clients through a major communications and advisory practice firm. (Read more: PNC Financial to Strengthen IR Division With Trout Buyout)

2. Continuing with its efforts to streamline insurance products, Wells Fargo & Company WFC is set to exit the Personal Insurance business. The bank expects to complete the exit process by first-quarter 2018. However, till then, it will continue to provide Personal Insurance products and serve customer policies. (Read more: Wells Fargo Set to Close Personal Insurance Business)

3. Citibanamex, a Mexican subsidiary of Citigroup C, has entered into an agreement to divest its asset management business to BlackRock BLK. The deal involves selling nearly $31 billion in assets under management of Citibanamex across local fixed income, equity and multi-asset products. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to necessary regulatory approvals. (Read more: BlackRock to Buy Citi's Asset Management Business in Mexico)

Price Performance

Here is how the seven major stocks performed:

Company

Last Week


6 months

JPM

6.3%

26.0%

BAC

6.4%

24.5%

WFC

4.4%

9.8%

C

4.8%

23.6%

COF

5.3%

18.6%

USB

6.4%

9.1%

PNC

6.0%

19.6%



In the last five trading sessions, Bank of America Corp. BAC and U.S. Bancorp USB were the major gainers, with their shares jumping 6.4% each. Further, JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM moved up 6.3%.

JPMorgan and BofA were the best performers over the past six months, with their shares gaining 26% and 24.5%, respectively. Also, shares of Citigroup jumped 23.6%.

What’s Next?

In the coming five days, performance of bank stocks is likely to follow a similar trend, unless there is any unexpected event.

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