COVID-19 cases are spiking around the world and surging to record highs in some places.
France’s President, Emmanuel Macron has already issued a mandate for the entire country to go into lockdown again. And more countries are expected to follow suit.
Then, leading vaccine candidates Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) have cited adverse reactions to their coronavirus vaccines.
This has caused them to delay progress, pushing the timeline of an expected return to normal for the economy back even further.
And last, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on the much-anticipated second stimulus package that would provide more economic relief to businesses and citizens alike.
All of this, combined with another increase in jobless claims here in the U.S. is pushing stocks lower.
And bank stocks are particularly at risk because they have exposure to all businesses since they loan out the most money after governments.
Here are the bank stocks that you should be avoiding now…
No. 2: Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) has had one of the roughest years of any big bank in the United States.
The stock is down an astounding 60% over the last 12 months – from $52 per share to $21 today.
To put that in perspective, the SPDR S&P 500 Bank ETF (NYSEARCA: KBE) is only down 29% in the last 12 months.
So, WFC is doing twice as bad as the average U.S. bank.
Either way you look at it, the banking sector as a whole is in big trouble due to its exposure to businesses affected by COVID-19.
And it doesn’t look like thinks are going to turn around for Wells Fargo any time soon…
Remember that “cross-selling scandal” the company was found guilty of back in 2016?
That’s when they were caught creating millions of fraudulent savings and checking accounts for their own clients without their consent.
Yeah, well, that’s still not over. In fact, the worst is still yet to come.
Not only did the company have to fork up $3 billion, it destroyed its reputation in the process.
A recent survey shows that more than 44% of Americans trust Wells Fargo the least of any bank in the U.S.
As Warren Buffett likes to say, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation but only 5 minutes to ruin it.”
Wells Fargo has ruin theirs and I wouldn’t own the stock until decades down the road when they’ve repaired it.
No. 1: Deutsche Bank
I don’t remember the last time I heard any good news about Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB).
This company has been in disarray long before COVID swept the markets.
And if anything, the virus has only helped propel DB’s demise.
While most bank stocks have recovered since financial crisis of 2008, Deutsche Bank has not.
The stock is still down 94% from its 2007 all-time highs of $152 per share.
It only recovered half the losses it experienced in 2008 and has been on a steady decline since – from $75 per share in 2009 to $9.25 today.
The primary reason DB has been in so much trouble is because of its derivatives exposure.
Trading derivatives is like trading stocks on steroids.
And the portfolio managers at DB have cost the firm a lot of money when their big bets didn’t pay off.
Take, the reports about DB’s derivatives exposure that came out just last year. The company created a whopping $53.5 trillion worth of derivatives contracts that they knew were about to blow up in their faces.
Once they started unloading them, Wall Street began punishing the stock because investors knew how difficult the derivatives would be to unload.
Deutsche Bank went on to report a massive $6 billion loss in 2019 and laid off about 18,000 of its 91,000 employees.
Anyone who thinks they can scoop up DB shares on the cheap and ride the stock to some massive recovery are fooling themselves.
Don’t by Deutsche Bank stock – avoid it at all costs.
Please take one minute to review this URGENT letter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).
If you don’t know…
The OCC is the agency that regulates and supervises about 1,200 national banks and federally-licensed savings associations in the U.S.
And it just issued a letter announcing a major change to our banking system.
If you have any money in the bank…
I suggest you take immediate action.