Traders are keenly waiting for the second quarter earnings of three of the U.S.’s four largest banks to be released later this morning as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo kick off the earnings season.
Following a wave of earnings forecast downgrades in recent weeks, the companies have done a fine job of expectations management, particularly with regards to their fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) businesses.
These divisions traditionally experience a slow second quarter but this year face additional headwinds in the form of continued extremely low volatility and tough comparables given the Brexit-induced spike in trading volumes in the final day of the same period last year.
Loan volumes, especially on the commercial side, are also likely to be sluggish as would-be borrowers stand on the sidelines, waiting for more clarity from the Trump administration regarding its pledges to bring thorough changes to areas such as tax reform and healthcare.
The lack of clarity is also hitting dealmaking and therefore the banks’ mergers and acquisition (M&A) advisory businesses, says Wheeler.
According to Wheeler, companies are asking “what is the new administration really going to do because we have things we’d like to invest in but we’d like to wait to get a bit more certainty about what the outlook is in terms of taxation and other measures taken by the administration to boost the economy.”