Home » Top Banks Kick Off Q3 Earnings Season Amid Mixed Outlook on Rates and Credit

Top Banks Kick Off Q3 Earnings Season Amid Mixed Outlook on Rates and Credit

by Jack B.

Top U.S. banks kick off the third quarter earnings season on Friday, marking a pivotal moment amid rapidly rising rates and economic uncertainty. JPMorgan, Citi, and Wells Fargo set the tone before the broader sector reports next week.

Banks face known rate pressures but have the potential to show credit resilience and deposit stability, reassuring markets. However, further cracks in lending or funding could sink confidence in a sector rebound.

After plunging through mid-2023, bank stocks rallied this summer as higher rates were expected to boost net interest income. But September brought a reversal, with spiking yields reviving asset write-down and funding cost worries.

The dynamic mirrors the March regional banking crisis when some firms were crippled by bond losses and deposit runs amid rate spikes. While major banks proved more durable then, their immunity will be tested again.


Rising rates traditionally benefit bank profits through wider lending spreads. But rapid Fed hikes have compressed margins as deposit costs lag loan yields. Higher rates also reduce borrowing demand, pressuring loan volumes.

Meanwhile, surging yields force mark-to-market losses on bond holdings. These unrealized hits have already strained capital levels, especially at banks like Bank of America with substantial securities exposure.

There are also signs of emerging credit weakness, prompting banks to increase loan loss provisions last quarter. Further deterioration could ignite investor concerns.

Given cautious outlooks, positive surprises on deposit stability, credit demand, or trading could spark an earnings-driven relief rally. Large short positions in bank stocks add the potential for a volatile short squeeze.

However, uncertainty persists regarding the duration of the rate and economic challenges. Banks must demonstrate improving visibility into the peak of pressures and timeline to normalcy.

Q3 earnings could show whether the industry has reached an inflection point. If not, estimates likely sink lower. But with the Fed potentially nearing its terminal rate, proving credit and funding resilience could reinforce faith in an eventual recovery.

After following the Fed’s cues for most of 2022, banks have a chance to wrest back initiative by signaling how higher rates may ultimately strengthen finances. Their outlooks will shape rate sensitivity expectations across markets.

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