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Friday's Bank Stocks: Markets unwavering on expectations for 45th President

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Street Talk Episode 65 - Deferral practices trap US bank portfolios in purgatory


Friday's Bank Stocks: Markets unwavering on expectations for 45th President

When Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States around noon on Jan. 20, a small drop in the major indexes sparked fears of markets losing confidence in a Trump presidency. The markets quickly recouped their losses to end the day slightly positive, perhaps showing signs of market confidence in an economic future under the new president.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.48% to 19,827.25, the Nasdaq composite index added 0.28% to 5,555.33, and the S&P 500 increased 0.34% to 2,271.31.

The absence of a market sell-off was a "big story" for Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network. McMillan said he thought the market would realize that hopes for a brighter economic future under Trump were just that — hopes. But with the markets making no dramatic movements, investors might be seeing the current equities rally, spurred on by the election, in a different light.

McMillan said he would expect the Trump administration to introduce similar economic policies to those of the Bush administration, which focused on tax cuts and financial deregulation. That could come as welcome news to the many banks that have complained of burden since the regulatory crackdown after the financial crisis.

The SNL U.S. Bank Index rose 0.58% to 523.93. JPMorgan Chase & Co. added 0.44% to $83.67, Citigroup Inc. fell 0.97% to $56.11, Bank of America Corp. rose 0.49% to $22.64 and Wells Fargo & Co. gained 0.90% to $55.07.

A number of banks also reported their fourth-quarter 2016 earnings Jan. 20. Regions Financial Corp. said it was struggling to see consumer confidence translate into loan growth, despite meeting consensus estimates for EPS. Shares of the Birmingham, Ala.-based company rose 0.43% to $14.04. SunTrust Banks Inc. rose 1.86% in trading to $54.84 as it announced it would cut 99 branches by the end of June. Citizens Financial Group Inc. jumped 3.14% to $35.82 after it reported estimate-beating EPS despite lower loan growth forecasts for 2017 while Preferred Bank surged 9.07% to $53.98 after it held its fourth-quarter 2016 call.

A few banks saw some losses, with Rockland, Mass.-based Independent Bank Corp. falling 5.60% to $63.20 after its fourth-quarter 2016 call and Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based American River Bankshares losing 4.54% to $14.21.

The SNL U.S. Thrift Index added 0.46% to 940.48. New York Community Bancorp Inc. rose 0.76% to $15.81.

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