JP Morgan Does Record Business in 2018

By Bryan Rich

January 15, 5:00 pm EST

We now have Q4 earnings in from three of the country’s four largest banks.  Yesterday it was Citi.  Better earnings were driven by cost cuts not growth.  Still, the stock is up 8% in two days.

Today it was Wells Fargo and JP Morgan.  Wells, too, had soft revenues but beat on earnings driven by cost cuts.  JP Morgan missed on earnings and revenues.

Now, Jamie Dimon runs JP Morgan — the largest U.S. based global money center bank.  And he has been publicly positive on the economy and the market outlook, in the face of a lot of broad negativity and fear late last year.

Let’s take a look at what he had to say about JP Morgan’s earnings and the operating environment…

JP Morgan generated record earnings and record revenues for full year 2018.  And Dimon says they would have done it even without the tax cuts. He says his business shows the U.S. consumer to be healthy and engaged.  Consumers are spending, saving and investing.  And Dimon said they opened Chase branches in new states for the first time in nearly a decade.

This all in a year where the chatter about an impending recession grew by the month, for no other reason than the economic expansion has been running long.

According to the biggest bank in the country, things sound pretty good.

Importantly, last year, the blowout earnings were often met with selling in the broad stock market.  It’s looking like that dynamic is changing.  Stocks are rising, even on less than impressive numbers (thus far). That a good sign for the sustainability of the rebound.
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