Back to top

Image: Bigstock

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Prosperity Bancshares

Read MoreHide Full Article


For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 27, 2019 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) , Bank of America (BAC - Free Report) , Citigroup (C - Free Report) , Wells Fargo (WFC - Free Report) and Prosperity Bancshares (PB - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Trade War Escalation Likely to Hurt Bank Stocks

On Friday, both the United States and China announced fresh round of tariffs, and President Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. companies should “start looking for an alternative to China.” Less chance of any near-term end to the trade war sent investors scurrying from stock markets to safe havens like bonds and gold.

Therefore, stock markets fell sharply. All three major indices — the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and Nasdaq — tanked 2.6%, 2.4% and 3%, respectively.

Similarly, all the sectors including bank stocks didn’t remain untouched. Notably, KBW Nasdaq Bank Index declined 2.8% and SPDR S&P Bank ETFdipped 3%.

Big global banks — JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo — lost 2.5%, 2.7%, 3.1% and 2.6%, respectively. Also, several smaller, domestic banks including Prosperity Bancshares, Huntington Bancshares and Zions Bancorporation declined more than 2.5%.

As the demand for bonds increased, the 10-year Treasury yields sank to its lowest level since August 2016. Also, earlier this month, for the first time since 2005, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped below the yield on the two-year bill.

Yield curve has been inverting since December 2018, and the trend has gained strength in the recent months. Economists see this as an early indication of an impending recession.

For banks, which are already reeling under tough operating backdrop, this is bad news. Banks earn interest income by charging borrowers higher long-term interest rates while doling out smaller interest rates to depositors. This results in improvement in net interest margin (NIM).

As the yield curve inverts and the spreads between short-and long-term rates narrows down, growth in banks’ interest income will get hampered and lead to decline in NIM.

Further, escalating trade war and inversion of yield curve will put pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut rates aggressively (after having once cut the rates in July). Already, the CME FedWatch tool is predicting approximately 99% chance of interest rate cut happening in September. Also, analysts are expecting two more cuts before the year end.

Moreover, the ongoing uncertainty related to the trade war, Brexit and several other geopolitical matters have led to sluggish demand for loans for the past several quarters. The same has become more pronounced this year as these concerns have led corporates to delay capital investments.

Hence, all these factors are expected to hurt banks’ prospects in the near term. While banks are undertaking restructuring and streamlining initiatives against the impending downturn, investors must be cautious and invest in fundamentally sound banks to earn solid long-term returns.

Today's Best Stocks from Zacks

Would you like to see the updated picks from our best market-beating strategies? From 2017 through 2018, while the S&P 500 gained +15.8%, five of our screens returned +38.0%, +61.3%, +61.6%, +68.1%, and +98.3%.

This outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. From 2000 – 2018, while the S&P averaged +4.8% per year, our top strategies averaged up to +56.2% per year.

See their latest picks free >>

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339                                                                            

 Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.