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Not An Easy Day for Bank Bears

Another tough day for bank bears. On the heels of better than expected earnings from Citi and BB&T most banks are trading on the upside today. Following upside surprises from JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo, bank stocks are again posting gains for the week:

Citigroup up 28 percent

Fifth Third up 23 percent

SunTrust up 25 percent

M&T Bank up 8 percent

Wells Fargo up 2 percent

This is the 6th consecutive weekly gain for the Bank Index, which is up 108 percent since the bottom in early March.

It wasn't supposed to happen this way — bears were quite sure there would be selling into bank earnings this week.

This has left bulls happy, and bears in a state of apoplexia. Bears are insisting:

  • earnings quality has been poor
  • there are lots of one-time gains
  • credit continues to worsen

Bulls are content to point out that the metrics that matter — Tier One Capital and Tangible Common Equity (TCE) have been improving for most banks, and that mortgage refinancings and trading (particularly fixed income) have led the way.

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