As second-quarter earnings season cranks up, expectations are high that this may be the point at which companies stop simply beating lower expectations and show aggressive growth.
Not for the banking sector, though, which instead finds itself at something of a crossroads as Wells Fargo kicks off the profit reports Friday morning.
Financials broadly and banks in particular find themselves struggling against the twin headwinds of increased regulation and uncertainty regarding monetary policy. Reforms out of Washington are just now starting to kick in, and the Federal Reserve is expected to stop its money-pumping operation in October and begin raising interest rates the following year.
For some of Wall Street's biggest names, then, quarterly results are likely to be weak, while the future is pockmarked with uncertainty.