Wells Fargo Plays Catch-Up With Bank Peers

Wells Fargo & Co. may be showing signs of recovery after a campaign to repair the bank’s post-scandal reputation.

The stock has gained more than 4 percent this week, outperforming the benchmark KBW bank index, and is up around 20 percent from its September low, after CEO Tim Sloan’s comments on Dec. 5 seemed to please investors.  Fourth-quarter commercial lending growth is expected to outpace that of the third-quarter, and growth is seen returning to the auto business in late 2018, he said at an investor conference.

It could be that Wells Fargo, which has been hurt by a series of scandals, is finally feeling the warmth that’s been aimed at other financials since Donald Trump’s November 2016 election. The KBW Bank Index has climbed 15 percent since the start of the year amid optimism about the Trump administration’s tax overhaul plans, bank deregulation and bids to spur economic growth. 

This week analysts such as Bank of America’s Savita Subramanian, Piper’s Kevin Barker, and BMO’s James Fotheringham have come out to recommend buying stocks in the financial sector.

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