Two giants kicked off the earnings season for banks, and the results were pretty good:
- JPMorgan Chase, the country's biggest bank, reported a record quarterly profit today, helped by a surge in mortgage refinancing. The bank made $5.3 billion from July through September, up 36% from the same period a year ago. It worked out to $1.40 per share, blowing away the $1.21 predicted by analysts. CEO Jamie Dimon said he believed the housing market "has turned a corner." Fallout from the London whale bad trade seems to have largely subsided.
- Wells Fargo posted record earnings as the bank increased mortgage lending and pocketed more fees. The nation's biggest mortgage lender expanded its loan portfolio by making new loans to consumers, and it collected more interest on them than in the same period a year earlier. Net income rose 23%, to $4.72 billion from $3.84 billion in the same period last year. Overall revenue rose 8% to $21.2 billion, but that was slightly lower than expected. Wells' stock fell $1.07, or 3%, to $34.11 in early trading.