Moody’s Shifts Outlook to Negative for Major U.S. Banks Amid Concerns Over Government Support

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Moody’s Investors Service has revised the rating outlook to negative for Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, citing concerns about the U.S. government’s potentially weaker capacity to support systemically important banks. Despite the negative outlook, bank stocks rallied following subdued inflation data. Moody’s maintained a stable rating for Citigroup’s debt amidst these developments.

via morningstar:

“Stocks rally with broad market on tame CPI data even as Moody’s cuts view on big banks to align with its reduced outlook of U.S. debt

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Moody’s Investors Service cut its rating outlook to negative from stable on Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., but the stocks rallied Tuesday on the heels of tame inflation data.

Meanwhile, bond prices of banks also climbed dramatically as yields fell, in another bullish move for the sector (see chart below).

Moody’s negative outlook on bank debt reflects “the potentially weaker capacity of the government of the United States of America (Aaa negative) to support the U.S.’s systemically important banks,” analyst Peter E. Nerby said in a research note published late Monday.

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Moody’s kept in place its “Strong+” score for the macro profile of the U.S. banking system.

Moody’s said the downgrade of Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) aligns with its rating cut on Friday of U.S. sovereign debt to negative from stable.

Moody’s maintained its stable rating on Citigroup Inc.’s (C) debt.”

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