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TheStreet Open House

Big Banks Show 'Worst Case' Strength: Financial Winners

Stocks in this article: BACCJPMWFCMSGSI:BKX

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stocks of the nation's largest banks were strong on Tuesday, after Drexel Hamilton analyst David Hilder wrote in a note to clients that the nation's largest banks could easily cover their worst estimates of "reasonably possible losses" from mortgage putback demands and litigation.

Shares of Citigroup (C) rose over 2% to close at $49.37. Large banks showing gains of close to 2% included Morgan Stanley (MS), which closed at $26.27, and Goldman Sachs (GS), closing at $154.76.

The remaining members of the "big four" U.S. banking club, which also includes Citigroup, all saw shares rising 1%: Shares of Bank of America (BAC) closed at $14.25, while JPMorgan Chase (JPM) closed at $51.13 and Wells Fargo (WFC) closed at $41.39.

Based on the worst-case estimates of the big four, Hilder wrote that maximum possible pretax mortgage repurchase and litigation losses of $7.5 billion, would only amount to 21% of the company's estimated 2013 pretax earnings of $35.1 billion. Maximum losses of $6.8 billion to Bank of America would amount to 37% of 2013 pretax earnings, while maximum losses of $5.2 billion to Citigroup would amount to 23% of earnings.

For Wells Fargo, maximum possible pretax mortgage repurchase and litigation losses of $3.3 billion would amount to just 10% of the company's estimated 2013 pretax earnings of $33.1 billion, according to Hilder.

"We are reiterating our Buy ratings on the four largest U.S. banks," Hilder wrote.

The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was 0.5% to close at 62.50, with winners and losers roughly split.

The broad indices all ended with gains. The market on Tuesday pulled back from early gains, but gained strength during the last hour of trading, after leading members of the House of Representatives showed no signs of "going wobbly" on President Obama's call for action against the government of Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

Following a meeting at the White House, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) said he would vote to authorize President Obama to order an attack forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad. Boehner said "my colleagues should support this call for action."

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