While the stock market hits fresh highs, US bank stocks have trailed the S&P 500 by 14% over the past year. Earnings multiples are 40-50% below the broader market.
If you can’t make money on spreads, make it on fees. Two areas give considerable reason for hope here: wealth management and mortgages. Markets ended the quarter on a high note, so analysts expect the big wealth managers — including Morgan Stanley and BofA — to report a decent quarter. On mortgages, low rates mean homeowners refinancing. And at 3.75 per cent, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now lower than it has been since 2016, leaving 45 per cent per cent of homeowners eligible to refinance, according to Goldman. Good news, potentially, for Wells Fargo, which has the biggest mortgage origination business among the banks.