JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America kicked off the banking sector's fourth-quarter reporting season with strong profits. JP Morgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 24 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit to $6.73 billion on Friday. Bank of America’s profits soared 43 percent, rising to $4.7 billion from the previous quarter.
The third big bank to report, Wells Fargo, fell short. The bank reported earnings per share of 96 cents on revenue of $21.58 billion; those numbers were lower than the $1.00 and $22.45 billion that analysts were expecting. The fourth quarter was the first full quarter since Wells Fargo's fraudulent-accounts scandal came to light.
The SPDR S&P Bank ETF , a bellwether for the entire banking sector, has shot up more than 24 percent since the election. The broader financials sector is up 17 percent, making it the top performer in the S&P 500 over that time.