- JPMorgan kicks off fourth-quarter earnings season for big banks on Friday at about 7 a.m., followed by releases from Wells Fargo and Citigroup.
- Earnings expectations for the fourth quarter have been on the rise, thanks to climbing interest rates and expectations for solid trading and investment banking results.
- The biggest U.S. banks (with the exception of Wells Fargo) all saw per-share earnings estimates jump by at least 8% in the past month, according to Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg.
Bank stocks have staged a fierce comeback from the lows of 2020, when investors feared that pandemic-related loan losses and low interest rates would squeeze the industry.
Feeding into the momentum, analysts have turned bullish on the industry, hiking price targets on the anticipation that vaccines will allow for a reopening of the U.S. economy, while coming rounds of government stimulus will prop up borrowers, ultimately allowing banks to release some of the tens of billions of dollars set aside last year for loan losses.