Can Wells Fargo Keep the Big Banks Out of a Funk Today?

Having Warren Buffett at your back usually bodes well, as big banks Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC  ) well know. Ever since the Oracle noted that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, (NYSE: BRK-A  ) (NYSE: BRK-B  ) has been buying up Wells Fargo stock, the bank's shares have been moving pretty nicely upward, as I noted in my article of one week ago.

Other Fools, namely John Maxfield, have mentioned the Warren effect as well -- particularly since the media trumpeted Buffett's acquisitions yesterday after eyeballing his company's 13-F filing.

Most banks sagged throughout the day
Yesterday, at least, Wells' good news wasn't enough to buoy financials for the entire day, and a generally upward trend in the big bank sector by midday was reversed as early gainers like B of A, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , and Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) dropped a bit before the market closed. Even Wells dipped a little, though only by 0.1%.

Today is looking like another good day for Buffett's favorite bank, and Wells is already up by about 0.4% at mid-morning. Indeed, the entire banking sector is lit up in bright green, as Citi, Bank of America, and JPMorgan all clock some impressive gains early this Friday morning.

Will a bit of negativity hurt Wells later in the day?
While Wells is looking very bubbly so far today, a couple of pieces of news came out yesterday that might put a damper on these gains later in the day.

Wells has been told by a judge that it must ante up and refund consumers $203 million for its part in the debit-card transaction scandal, which it has been fighting tooth and nail. While other banks like B of A, Citi, and JPMorgan have settled -- and Bank of America has even sent out some checks to customers affected by the practice -- Wells says it plans to appeal this judge's decision.

In another negative PR piece, an Orlando, Fla. man is claiming that Wells is improperly foreclosing on his home, despite his having made his mortgage payments timely. A representative of Wells Fargo said that the bank is on task to help this customer, but these types of news blurbs are never a good thing for any bank's image.

So far, however, there is no rain on Wells' horizon, and the stock has gained over 0.90% by 10 a.m. ET. With the whole financial sector looking bouncy still, it looks like a happy Friday for Wells Fargo and its peers.

While all this is very good news for big bank afficiandos, it really doesn't matter much how Wells Fargo's stock behaves today -- or on any given day, for that matter. As Foolish investors well know, a snapshot look at any given stock, taken in isolation, can be detrimental to the long-term view. The big picture, as always, is what really matters, and the normal ups and downs of the market are something that investors with their eyes on the prize take in stride, knowing that these hills and valleys are just part of the business of intelligent, long-term investing.

Wells Fargo's dedication to solid, conservative banking helped it vastly outperform its peers during the financial meltdown. Today, Wells is the same great bank as ever, but with its stock trading at a premium to the rest of the industry, is there still room to buy, or is it time to cash in your gains? To help figure out whether Wells Fargo is a buy today, I invite you to download our premium research report from one of The Motley Fool's top banking analysts. Click here now for instant access to this in-depth take on Wells Fargo.


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