I’m starting up my videos on JubakAM.com again–this time using YouTube as a platform. My thirty-fifth YouTube video “QuickPick–For bank disruptors, buy Square” went up today.
Bank earnings from JPMorgan Chase better than expected–after loan loss release–but raise doubts on recovery
Before the market open today, July 13, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) reported earnings of $3.78 a share on revenue of $30.5 billion. But as expected trading revenue fell with fixed-income trading revenue down 44% year over year. Community banking revenue climbed just 3%; investment banking revenue rose just 1%; and commercial banking revenue grew just 3%. Average loans in the consumer banking unit fell 3%; across the company average loans were flat. A release of $3 billion from reserves against loan losses saved the quarter and produced a huge surprise above the $3.05 a share expected by Wall Street analysts.
OPEC+ is in crisis again–but since no one knows quite what the result is likely to be, we’ve had big swings in sentiment and prices in the oil market (and in banks, other commodities, and the inflation/deflation play) today
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its affiliated oil producers (OPEC+) abandoned their Monday meeting after days of tense talks failed to result in an agreement on a tentative deal to increase production, and even over how to measure production. The disagreement between Saudi Arabia snd the United Arab Emirates was so heated that OPEC+ couldn’t even agree on a date for its next meeting. When these two countries last clashed in December 2020, the UAE talked of leaving OPEC. Oil prices initially jumped to its highest level in more than six years on news that OPEC+ had failed to agree to increase production. But prices then fell as traders speculated that the failure to reach an agreement on production increases would result in unplanned increases in production.
That didn’t take long. On Thursday the Federal Reserve reported that all 23 big banks tested in its annual stress test, passed. Which means that the last remaining restrictions on dividend increases and share buybacks are now history. Yesterday big banks started to announce dividend increases
Today, Monday June 14, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon said that the bank is holding around $500 billion in cash in order to benefit from higher interest rates. Dimon told a Morgan Stanley virtual conference that he expects rising inflation will result in higher interest rates over the next 9 months.
U.S. banks that pass their next stress tests will be allowed to raise their dividends after June 30, the Federal Reserve said today, March 25. The Fed will also lift any remaining restrictions on stock buybacks.
Bank stocks were just about the only thing in the green today–which is why I’m adding U.S. Bancorp to Jubak Picks on Friday (plus some thoughts on bank stock option plays)
I’d like to add more exposure to the bank sector. But what? At this stage in the bank stock rally, I’m looking for well-run banks that will be able to take advantage of the increase in the yield spread to add to earnings. (As opposed to earlier in the cycle, when I added Citigroup because things were getting a lot better even for not-so-well run banks.) Bank of America (BAC) is one possibility. But the stock is up 25.80% for 2021 as of March 18 and up 32.26% in the last month. I think, instead, that I’ll go with U.S. Bancorp (USB), the country’s largest regional bank. U.S. Bancorp is up 16.96% for 2021 to date and up “only” 21.27% in the last month. It also comes with a 3.8% dividend (well above the 1.90% paid by Bank of America) that will give investors some downside protection. I’m adding that stock to my Jubak Picks Portfolio on Friday.
Check back here later tonight. Or wait until tomorrow
On second thought, financial markets decide they really didn’t like yesterday’s news from the Federal Reserve
After not moving very much yesterday on the actual news from the Federal Reserve-the Standard & Poor’s 500 finished up 0.29% and the NASDSQ Composite closed higher by 0.40%, today, March 18, markets decided they really didn’t like the Fed’s stance on inflation, interest rates, and bond yields.
A day after Fed chair Jerome Powell said the Fed wasn’t much concerned about either the projects for higher inflation or the rise in Treasury yields, the yield on the 10-year Treasury spiked to 1.71% at the close. (It was at 1.74% as 1 p.m. in New York.) The closing yield amounted to a jump of 7 basis points in the yield on the benchmark Treasury issue. The yield on the 10-year Treasury is now up an astonishing 42 basis points in a month. And as has been the case in 2021 and as you might expect, stocks sold off with high multiple, high momentum technology shares taking the worst beating.
I left my keyboard at 11:30 this morning to go for a walk in my neighborhood. The temperature was near 60 degrees in New York City. The sun was out. Restaurants with outdoor space were full. Columbia and Barnard students were out in skirts and even a few tank tops. There seemed to be more folks on the street than in recent days. I returned to work with spirits high. Ready to buy a stock or two. (I added some Disney (DIS) call options for June 18 at a strike of $200.) Confident that the worst of the pandemic was behind us. (Whether that’s true or not is a matter for a colder and rainier day.) Ready to believe that the economy and life were on the road back to normal. Don’t discount the role of “animal spirits,” the optimism that comes with warmer weather, a return to the outdoors, and an end to some (or in some states all) pandemic restrictions in moving stocks.
Just so we’re all on the same page: My buy of CPER and KBWB hedges posted yesterday and an add of the KBWB hedge to the Jubak Picks Portolio today
Yesterday in my YouTube video and in my latest addition to my Special Report: “Profit and Protect” I added the U.S. Copper Fund ETF (CPER) and the Invesco KBW Bank ETF (KBWB) to my Perfect Five ETF Portfolio. In that portfolio they will replace the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD) and the Vanguard Intermediate Term Treasury Bond ETF (VGIT), respectively. The two new ETFs will keep the portfolio weighting of the out-going ETFs at 25% and 20%, respectively. You can find more about the logic of these hedges and about the specifics of these ETFs in my video and in my Special Report update. Tomorrow I’ll also be adding the Invesco KBW Bank ETF to my Jubak Picks Portfolio.
Special Reports: Profit and Protect–What you need to know about stock market stages for 2021–my first two hedges (copper and banks) for Stage #2
Hedges that can pay off on the downside and the upside are the most useful and most valuable. They also tend to be relatively rare. There aren’t a lot of these bets floating around in most markets just waiting for you to snap them up. However, I have found two hedges of just this sort in today’s market that I’m going to recommend to you today. (In this post I’m going to give you some of the nitty gritty numbers that support my recommendation for these two hedges. If you want to see some charts for copper and gold, banks and bonds check out the video I posted today.) I’m going to add these new recommendations to my standing Special Reports post tomorrow.