On Friday, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) will report earnings. XLF includes a 7.7% weight toward WFC and 7.9% in BAC.
Looking ahead, a number of factors could continue to support the financial sector. For instance, the Federal Reserve has expressed intention to raise rates, tighten monetary policy. Banks’ most basic profit-making business model is to take on deposits and issue loans, so jigher interest rates means higher rates on loans, which translates to improved profit margins.
Banks may also experience loan growth. To fuel an improving economy, business and Americans will borrow, and many may continue to take advantage of the current low-rate environment to borrow.
There is still the potential for Trump administration to push through deregulation and tax cuts. Beyond obvious effects of lower taxes on businesses, deregulation or scaling back of draconian post-financial-crisis Dodd Frank rules would help banks do more with capital or turn around a quicker profit.
Additionally, after latest stress test revealed banks are fully capitalized, banks are now in a position to increase share buybacks, which would shrink overall shares and add value to company stocks. The top four banks have been approved for $59 billion in share buybacks.
For more information on the financial sector, visit our financial category.