First-quarter earnings looked very different for two of Wall Street's biggest banks.
For Wells Fargo, the news was good: Credit losses, which had been a drag on profits, eased. Consumer and commercial loans were up, and there was even good news in what had been an otherwise terrible quarter for mortgages: A renewed effort in subprime loans—now euphemistically called "another chance mortgages"—could reverse slowing mortgage activity as Wells drops FICO credit score requirements from 640 to 600.
Across the way, at JPMorgan Chase, the news was nowhere near as positive: Trading fell, loan growth painted, at best, a mixed picture and the mortgage business all but collapsed with little hope on the horizon.
Investors reacted in kind. Shares of Wells, the third-ranked U.S. bank by deposits, rose 1.1 percent, and JPMorgan, the No. 1-ranked bank, fell 3 percent.