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OPINION

Top Bank CEOs Questioned In House Hearing: How Did Markets React?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Because the Dow Jones Industrial Average straddled the unchanged line for most of the session, it felt like yesterday was uneventful – but it was actually very eventful. While the Dow did creep into the plus column at the ringing of the closing bell, other major indices put in strong sessions. There were more than 2,100 winners on the NYSE, and the NASDAQ Composite underscored the real underlying strength of the session.

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Real Estate, Technology, and Consumer Discretionary led the charge as money rotated out of the safety of Utilities.

S&P 500 Index

+0.35%

Communication Services (XLC)

+0.43%

Consumer Discretionary (XLY)

+0.48%

Consumer Staples (XLP)

+0.29%

Energy (XLE)

+0.37%

Financials (XLF)

+0.30%

Health Care (XLV)

+0.03%

Industrials (XLI)

-0.03%

Materials (XLB)

-0.05%

Real Estate (XLRE)

+0.80%

Technology (XLK)

+0.70%

Utilities (XLU)

-0.31%

Bank Boss

Yesterday, big bank bosses were lined up on Capitol Hill to endure volleys of questions that had little to do with the health of the industry, and everything to do with politics of envy and embarrassment. To be fair, big banks have brought a lot of criticism to themselves, and from time to time, they looked clueless and indifferent.

The CEOs had no answer when asked about the gulf between executive and employee pay, and it was said to be the worst of any industry.

By the same token, Maxine Waters set up the men at the table to take the fall for the surge in student loans and the associated spike in delinquencies. She seemed superior until she learned or was reminded that President Obama took the banks out of the student loan business back in 2010.

Representative Al Green asked for all CEOs that were not “white men” to raise their hands. He then asked if any were prepared to hand over the CEO role to a woman, or a person of color- no response.  Only Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said his bank financially benefited from slavery. The hearing turned into something of a media circus.

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Investors saw through all the noise, sending shares of all seven stocks (Wells Fargo didn’t have a CEO) higher. Big banks kick off earnings season tomorrow. The numbers have to be major beats to reverse the downtrend in place since January 2018. If the banks find a bid, they will carry the broad market to new all-time highs.

Portfolio Approach

Communication Services

1

Consumer Discretionary

4

Consumer Staples

1

Energy

1

Financials

1

Healthcare

2

Industrial

4

Materials

3

Real Estate

0

Technology

2

Utilities

0

Cash

1

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