While positive catalysts for the U.S. stock market seem few and far between, there's one that just might open up the gates for a few key stocks.
In a year that many on wall Street thought would see strong gains for U.S. stocks, the worsening trade war and growing fears of a recession have both pushed The S&P down more than 1.3% for the year. The year-to-date Dow is down 1.2%.
But here's something to hang a hat on:
"We are going to start getting into this oversold territory," Chris Larkin, senior vice president of trading at E*Trade told TheStreet. He added, "You're going to see the buyers coming in and starting to pick up some bargains." Hours after Larkin said that, the Dow Jones and the S&P both reversed losses to end the day in the green.
The banking sector has gotten punched in the gut this year for several reasons, but is also getting hurt badly Monday. The SPDR S&P bank ETF (KBE) was losing more than 1.6% Monday, although it reversed those losses to finish in the green. It's down 15% year-to-date. "All the names [in financials] are starting to trade down -- like JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, American Express," Larkin said. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) fell 0.47% Monday, but is down almost 30% this year.
Citigroup Inc. (C) is also down 23.09% this year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) fell 1.87%, and is down more than 5% this year. American Express Company (AXP) dropped 0.83% Monday. "These are big names that have had pretty good earnings reports," Larkin said.
Bank stocks have been sold off this year in large part because of recession fears and the flattening yield curve, even though they've had strong earnings so far. Now some of the valuations on banks are incredibly low. David Miller, chief investment officer of Catalyst Funds told TheStreet Goldman Sachs is "dirt cheap -- you can buy them right about book value." Indeed, Goldman is trading at just below 0.9 times book vale.
And analysts at RBC Capital Markets have a $265 price target on Goldman, 49% above its current level. RBC analysts assume about 3% GDP growth in 2019, and wrote "Our price target reflects the actual and perceived loosening of regulations under the Trump administration" in a note to clients.
As for JPMorgan, the bank is "poised to continue market share gains," according to a note to clients from Goldman Sachs analysts. Analysts see strength in JPM's middle market lending, among other businesses. "While middle market lending has been more anemic than the economic environment would suggest, JPM has recently seen some more growth and they expect more usage of revolvers in middle market lending going forward," the note said.