Bank stocks have been on a tear in 2012. Monday was no different, as shares of big banks pushed the broader market higher.
Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) all climbed more than 2%, while Wells Fargo (WFC) rallied more than 3%. AIG (AIG) shares were up after the company said it plans to sell its stake in AIA Group, a Hong Kong-based life insurance company.
Financials have been on a run most of this year, and are on pace to outperform the rest of the stock market this year for the first time since the financial crisis.
The S&P 500 Financials index, which tracks 81 companies and also includes insurers and asset managers, is up about 24% with two weeks left in the year. That's nearly double the return of the full S&P 500, which is up nearly 13% in 2012.
The rally in bank socks gave StockTwits traders plenty to talk about.
The S%P 500 Consumer Discretionary index, which includes car makers, retailers, hotels and restaurants, is up nearly 20% in 2012.
While the 10-year Treasury yield has been sitting below 2% for most of the year, it's has climbed up to around 1.7% in December from a record low below 1.4% in July.
JPM - Fully realizing the cliff seems like the least likely option & the odds of a grand bargain have risen materially in just 48 hours.
Investors have grown increasingly optimistic that lawmakers will reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff before the end of the year. Over the weekend, House Speaker John Boehner made an offer to raise tax rates on those making at least $1 million. While the White House said the proposal doesn't go far enough, it did say the offer is a sign of "progress."
Housing recovery theme continues to play out - homebuilders, property insurers, banks and beer hitting 52-week highs
An improving housing market means banks will enjoy more demand for mortgage loans.
Bank of America is the best-performing stock of the big banks, with shares up more than 95% year-to-date. The bank has been paying a quarterly dividend of 1 cent per share since the beginning of 2009. Prior to the financial crisis, Bank of America's quarterly dividend was 64 cents per share.
Wells Fargo posted a record profit of $4.9 billion for the third quarter as mortgage lending picked up, but weaker-than-expected revenue left investors disappointed.
The nation's largest mortgage lender said it originated $139 billion of mortgages during the third quarter, up 6% from a year earlier, as record low interest rates drove homeowners to refinance. But the low rates also weighed on the interest income that Wells Fargo earns on its loans and MOREHibah Yousuf - Oct 12, 2012 5:40 PM ET
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Paul R. La Monica. Other than Time Warner, the parent of CNNMoney, and Abbott Laboratories, La Monica does not own positions in any individual stocks.
It's been a great year for bank stocks. The KBW Bank Index (BKX) has surged more than 30%, easily outperforming the broader market. And Bank of America (BAC) is up nearly 70%, making it by far MOREPaul R. La Monica - Oct 11, 2012 12:29 PM ET
Banks have had their share of bad publicity recently, but investors continue to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Standard Chartered (SCBFF) is a prime example.
The British bank's stock has recouped nearly all of the losses sustained earlier this month, when the bank was accused of laundering money for Iran.
U.S.-listed shares plunged to a low of $18.65 on Aug. 7, one day after banking regulators in New York threatened to MOREBen Rooney - Aug 24, 2012 7:04 AM ET
Paychecks for executives and top employees at the world's largest financial institutions are expected to get only a little bit bigger in 2012.
Compensation at the big banks will remain far below the highs of 2007, but overall, top executives could see paychecks and bonuses jump by as much as 10% in 2012.
Compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates projects that overall pay will hover between remaining flat and increasing up to 10%, MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 17, 2012 11:21 AM ET
Even billionaire George Soros caught Facebook (FB) fever this spring.
The hedge fund manager purchased 341,000 shares of the social media company during the second quarter, according to SEC filings.
Hedge fund managers aren't forced to specify when during a quarter they purchased stakes in various firms. Still, it's safe to say that the investor who infamously made $1 billion shorting the British pound is under water on his Facebook bet.
Related: Warren MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 14, 2012 7:13 PM ET
The Paul Ryan stock portfolio continues to shine. Two stocks that the Republican vice presidential candidate owns - Home Depot (HD) and Estee Lauder (EL) -- spiked Tuesday after both companies reported better-than-expected quarterly results.
As of mid-morning Home Depot was up 3%, making it the best performer in the Dow. And Estee Lauder's shares shot nearly 8% higher, making them the top gainer in the S&P 500.
Ryan seems to have MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 14, 2012 10:37 AM ET
It's a good thing that Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) still do some good, old-fashioned retail banking. The Wall Street business stinks.
Citi reported a better-than-expected second quarter profit Monday -- despite year-over-year declines in investment banking as well as equity and fixed income trading. Shares were up on the news, following a nearly 5.5% pop for Citi on Friday on the back of JPMorgan's kitchen sink MOREPaul R. La Monica - Jul 16, 2012 12:26 PM ET
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