Tuesday was a generally upbeat day on Wall Street, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) failed to keep up with its broader index peers. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) hit new all-time highs, while the Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) made more progress toward getting back to its high-water mark.
The first few months of 2021 have been full of excitement about the potential for the U.S. economy to recover fully after a difficult 2020. Investors have waited to see confirmation of those gains in earnings, and on Wednesday, they’ll get their first helping of first-quarter earnings releases from major banking institutions. With Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all set to give their latest read on the financial sector and the broader economy, bank earnings will either help support the market’s bull move or disappoint bullish investors.
Each of these three banks is different, with Wells Fargo having more of a consumer focus, Goldman Sachs leaning heavily toward institutional banking, and JPMorgan straddling the fence quite effectively to benefit from both businesses. Nevertheless, there are some common elements that investors will want to watch closely when banks give their latest results.