As Wells Fargo goes, so goes the nation?

WFC Q2 profits helped by housing

The old adage, "As goes GM, so goes the nation," can apply to Wells Fargo, Raymond James analyst Anthony Polini told CNBC after the bank on Friday became the first of its peers to release earnings.

Wells Fargo reported second-quarter earnings that met expectations, while revenue beat Wall Street estimates.

Read MoreWells Fargo posts earnings of $1.01 a share

"I think it's good news for the U.S. economy. Wells is always a good indicator. They have a national banking platform. Their CEO, John Stumpf, has been particularly bullish on the economy," Polini said Friday in a "Squawk Box" interview. "This is a very good indicator that the economy is on track for an improvement."

Polini also made the case that Wells Fargo profit was actually better than it appeared. "The more I look into the quarter, the more I like it. They had higher litigation expenses. If you add that back, it's 3 cents. They had a higher tax rate. If you add that back, it's another 4 or 5 cents. So actually on an operating basis, they did beat."

The big positive for the quarter was commercial loan growth, he pointed out. "It went up and it's double digit now. If you annualize it, it's well over 10 percent."

Mortgages business great for Wells Fargo: CFO

Wells Fargo CFO John Shrewsberry told CNBC's "Closing Bell" that the company has had "great growth" in its commercial and industrial loan portfolios.

"We're the largest middle-market lender in the country. We have 140 offices that are out there region by region facing off with borrowers and it's been growing and we're happy about it. Our borrowers are a little bit more optimistic," he said.

The bank's mortgage business was also "way up" over the first quarter, although it is still down from a year ago, Shrewsberry said. Loan originations were up by more than 35 percent and the pipeline is up by $10 billion.

"The purchase market should, frankly, benefit from the fact that affordability is still really good. Home prices are up 8 percent year over year, but they're still moderate compared to where they were at their peak. And rates, while they've moved up a little bit, are still at generational lows."

As for shares of Wells Fargo, Raymond James' Polini sees more upside: "There's another 8 or 10 points in Wells" stock.

But it's due for a breather soon, he warned. "It has been, certainly out of the big banks, the best performer year to date. And the best performer this quarter."

Wells Fargo stock closed at $51.49 a share on Friday. "By historical measures, it's still relatively attractive," Polini added. (Click here to get the latest quote for Wells Fargo.)

Next week, JPMorgan, Citigroup and Bank of America will continue the bank earnings parade.

—By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere. CNBC's Michelle Fox contributed to this report.