Can Wells Fargo Light a Fire that Can Stay Lit?
This morning, some pit traders were saying, "Not so fast, slow down ... I don't quite trust this yet".
Wells Fargo's big announcement this morning, where it said that they expect record first-quarter earnings of $3 billion. Obviously, investors were optimistic, because Wells Fargo stock was up 35% at 8:58 AM this morning in pre-market trading. Hordes of other bank stocks were moving up at the same time.
The XLF (Financial Sector ETF), was up 10.98% at 9:00 AM which shows the enthusiasm for banking stocks this morning.
Pit traders were quick to point out that Wells Fargo is only the first bank to provide a forecast for first-quarter results.
One pit trader commented (about Wells Fargo) ... "Up over 30%? Did everyone just forget that they just took 25 billion in bailout money? Do the math ... the 3 billion they just made is only 12% of what they have to pay back. At 3 billion per quarter, it would take them just over 2 years to pay it back."
I checked, and Wells Fargo earned 2 billion in the first quarter last year, versus 3 billion this year after taking 25 billion in gov. bailout money. So they made 1 billion more than last year for the first quarter, but only after the government's 25 billion injection ... and the stock was up 35% before the market open????
I'm guessing, but it is probably WHY one pit trader said, "They're putting the cart before the horse" this morning.
The chart below shows what the XLF (Financial ETF) looked like before 9 AM this morning. That's a lot of enthusiasm for the entire sector when only 1 bank has reported. This morning, there was also speculation talk about one large bank that is expected to report a loss of over 1 billion next week. Will that erase this morning's Well Fargo enthusiasm, or will investors say its terrific because they could have lost a lot more?
Have a very Happy Easter and weekend ... the market's are closed tomorrow.