Citigroup is now the darling of Wall Street


Citigroup was one of the hardest hit US banks during the 2008 financial crisis. But it’s the king of Wall Street so far this year.

Shares of Citi (C) have soared nearly 40% in 2019, outpacing the gains of big banking rivals JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Wells Fargo (WFC). But all these stocks, with the notable exception of scandal-ridden Wells Fargo, are surging this year too.

Citi will kick off bank earnings season on Monday when it reports its second quarter results. The other five megabanks all report next week too.

It will be very interesting to hear what Citigroup and other major banks have to say about the outlook for the global economy in light of the numerous trade skirmishes between the United States and other nations.

Concerns about China’s slowdown and weakening growth in Europe could hit the international divisions of the big banks.

But back stateside, the economy is still humming along at a decent clip, wages are rising and the Federal Reserve appears ready to cut interest rates, which could hurt profit margins a bit but also help boost demand for mortgages — a good thing for the banks.

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