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Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan make the case for higher valuations by separating from the pack

Key Points
  • Banks just finished reporting results for the final three months of 2020, and the gap in lucrative trading fees earned at Wall Street's Big Three – JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – and the rest of the world's capital markets players has never been bigger.
  • Executives and traders at the Big Three contend that these trends will continue, ultimately justifying higher valuations for the banks as they funnel more trading activity into their platforms, creating higher returns.
Charging Bull Statue is seen at the Financial District as snowfall in New York City, United States on December 16, 2020.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Even within Wall Street, there are haves and have-nots.

Banks just finished reporting results for the final three months of 2020, and the gap in lucrative trading fees earned at Wall Street's Big Three – JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – and the rest of the world's capital markets players has never been bigger.

While the three biggest players racked up stock and bond-trading revenue that exceeded analysts' expectations by almost $1 billion combined in the quarter, driving earnings beats for the companies, others fared less well. Bank of America's fixed-income traders produced $370 million less revenue than expected, for instance, and Citigroup's bond traders essentially matched expectations.

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