Two hours into trading, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) is up by 1.41%. The June jobs report could have sent the markets in either direction today, but so far, the Big Four banks, and the three major indices, are all in the green, or very close to it. A happy ending to the week is far from a foregone conclusion, however.
Good news, or is it?
This morning, the Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 195,000 jobs in June, trouncing analyst expectations of 165,000. To boot, revisions to the previous two months added another 70,000 to the job rolls.
The rate of unemployment was expected to drop to 7.5%, but instead, stayed at 7.6%, as more of the jobless are trying to get back into the workforce. This is all unquestionably good news, right?
Foolish bottom line
That depends on how you look at it. For those who fear that good economic news means the beginning of the end of quantitative easing, that's not necessarily so. And that's the through-the-looking-glass mentality that's been driving market volatility over the last few weeks, ever since the Federal Reserve announced it might begin tapering QE later this year if economic data kept trending in a positive direction.
But even more strangely, perhaps, than the markets not being down so far today is the fact that Wells is easily beating it's Big Four peers. Citigroup is up by only 0.8%, and JPMorgan Chase is up by only 1.1%, while Bank of America is up by 1.1.%.
Whether the markets are up or down, Wells typically lags behind its peers. I chalk this up to the type of investor who's typically drawn to Wells: a person or institution more interested in steady, long-term performance than the kind of sometimes thrilling, sometimes terrifying kind of performance you get with a Citi or B of A.
But there's nothing in particular driving Wells exceptional performance today above and beyond the market wave. All the more reason to stop checking in on your stocks every day, and take the long-term view of investing. Tune into the fundamentals of the companies you're invested in, and tune out the market noise: In the end, your portfolio will thank you, even if your broker won't.
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