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Thursday's Bank Stocks: US markets rise as safe haven for international capital

Banksstocks ended up on Thursday, July 14, as JPMorganChase & Co. kicked off big-banks' earnings season.

The largestbank in the U.S. by assets reportedsecond-quarter earnings of $1.55 per share, compared to the S&P Capital IQ consensusnormalized EPS estimate of $1.43, and analysts said the outperformance for the rest of the bigU.S. banks. Shares in JPMorgan climbed 1.52% to $64.12.

Amongthe rest of the largest banks, Bankof America Corp. went up 1.56% to $13.65, Citigroup Inc. jumped 2.58% to $44.45 and was up 1.39% to $48.94.

Banksin general followed suit, as the SNL U.S. Bank Index advanced 1.55% to 400.03 andthe SNL U.S. Thrift Index increased 0.53% to 800.88.

also earnings Thursday, withsecond-quarter net income available to common shareholders of 97 cents per share,compared to the S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate of 90 cents.First Republic's stock lost 0.22% to end the day at $71.28.

The broadermarkets also rose on the day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average adding 0.73%to 18,506.41, the S&P 500 increasing 0.53% to 2,163.75 and the Nasdaq compositeindex climbing 0.57% to 5,034.06.

JoelNaroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors, noted that U.S. equity and bond marketswere rallying because the U.S. is the safest place for international capital.

"Anytime these uncertainties pop up, because capital is so fluid, it winds up in theU.S., and we're seeing that in both the equity and the bond markets right now,"he said. "There's no reason to think that won't continue because Brexit willoverhang Europe for a while, and no one really knows what the situation is in China.You've got everything working in U.S. markets' favor right now."

In economic news, the U.S. Labor Departmentreported that in the week ended July 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjustedinitial jobless claims was 254,000, unchanged from the previous week's unrevisedlevel. The four-week moving average was 259,000, down from the previous week's unrevisedaverage of 264,750.

"That number was better than peopleexpected, and we got a good inflation reading as well," Naroff said, adding:"It's hard to argue with the condition of the U.S. economy."

Market prices and index valuesare current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.