Shares of Citigroup (C) - Get Report are slightly higher Monday morning, as the stock kicks off a busy week of bank earnings. The stock is up just 18 basis points to $71.90, but shares are well off the mornings lows.
Citigroup reported second-quarter earnings of $1.83 per share, which came in 3 cents ahead of analysts' expectations. Revenue grew 1.3% year-over-year to $18.76 billion and topped estimates by $270 million.
A top- and bottom-line beat apparently isn't enough to spring Citigroup stock into a full-blown breakout, although it's still flirting with a potentially large move higher if it can get through resistance. However, other banks will likely play a role as well in the coming days. JPMorgan (JPM) - Get Report , Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report , Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report and others will report this week too.
If the results are good and the stocks rally, it may draw in enough buyers to jump Citigroup stock higher. However, if the results are ill-received, then it may make a breakout even harder for Citi.
These reports come after the banks just received approval from the Fed to raise their capital return policies.
For Citigroup, management said it plans to boost its quarterly dividend 13.3% to 51 cents per share, giving it a yield of roughly 2.8%. It was also approved to buyback up to $17.1 billion worth of stock in the next four quarters, starting in Q3 2019. At current prices, that's just over 10% of the stock's market cap.
Trading Citigroup Stock
Generally speaking, I do not like to use daily charts that go beyond 12 months. Above is an 18-month chart for Citigroup stock, but I feel that it best illustrates the meaning of the $72 level.
Shown via the black line above, $72 started off as support in late-2017 and into 2018. However, once this level gave way in March 2018, it began serving as resistance. Citigroup stock briefly pushed through this level in September, running to $73.73, but quickly turned lower once again.
$72 last came into play as resistance in May, right before the stock market turned lower and dragged C stock back down. Now though, we can see that Citigroup has spent the entire month consolidating just below this level.
In fact, on Monday shares sold off in morning trade before recovering off a test of the rising 21-day moving average. A strong close over $72 -- or better yet, a pullback to $72 that holds as support after C stock pushes through -- should get bulls' attention.
If it can get above and stay above $72, the first upside target is $73.73, the 52-week highs. Beyond that, it opens up the door to a run into the mid- to high-$70s. If $72 remains resistance, see if the 21-day can remain as support. Otherwise a pullback to trend support (blue line) and the 50-day may be in order.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author had no positions in the stocks mentioned.