(Updated with stock price moves, Bove note on Morgan Stanley.)
Citigroup's stock gained ground as CEO Vikram Pandit appeared on Capitol Hill to thank the U.S. government and taxpayers for providing $45 billion of bailout money that stabilized the bank during the financial crisis.
"For Citi, as for many other institutions, this investment built a bridge over the crisis to a sound footing on the other side, and it came from the American people," Pandit said. "Citi owes a large debt of gratitude to American taxpayers."Citigroup shares were lately up 6 cents, or 1.7%, to $3.46. Elsewhere, Bank of America (BAC) tacked on 0.2% to $16.40 after the Treasury Department said Thursday it recorded $1.54 billion from the sale of 272.17 million warrants it received from the bank as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The warrants were sold after the Treasury and Bank of America could not agree on a price. Among other U.S. bank stocks, Goldman Sachs (GS) rallied 3.4% to $163.09, Wells Fargo (WFC) gained 0.6% to $28.37, and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) rose 0.9% to $41.91. Morgan Stanley (MS) advanced 2.2% to $28.95 after Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove, who cut earnings estimates on Goldman Sachs earlier this week, said Morgan's first-quarter results are cloudy, but the longer term outlook is quite positive. Bove says that while Morgan Stanley's trading activities weakened recently like its counterparts, the company may be gaining market share and "it may not have suffered to the extent of the market." "What is most exciting about this company is its new strategy," Bove wrote in a research note Thursday. "Morgan is withdrawing capital, assets, and people from all of these proprietary activities. It is focusing the full effort of the firm on delivering a total company experience to its customers. It is fighting hard for market share. It is likely to be very successful and this is a very cheap stock." Shares of BB&T (BBT) also traded higher after Bernstein analysts upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform, citing a "steadier" share count now that it has repaid TARP bailout funds. BB&T was lately up 1.5% to $27.78.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV