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Big banks to kick off earnings season this week, but reports may not boost their stocks

October 10, 2018

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Will the third-quarter earnings season prove the charm for bank stocks, which have lagged behind other sectors and the main benchmarks this year?

Probably not, according to analysts previewing the numbers, even though expectations for the sector have been scaled back since the quarter-end.

There were positives in an economy that seems to be humming along, continued strong credit quality and cost discipline.

But loan growth was subdued, as reflected in Federal Reserve data, given growing competition from nonbank lenders, such as private-equity firms and insurers. And net interest margins (NIM) were held in check as Libor rates rose less than originally expected, while trading revenue slowed during the usual summer lull.

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