After a disappointing Thursday and Friday, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is back in action this week, with steady gains on Tuesday and Wednesday and another healthy start to the day today: The superbank's stock is up a solid 1.12% several hours into trading.
Maybe Memorial Day gave investors a much-needed break after the weeks of tension leading up to last Tuesday's annual shareholder meeting, allowing them to confidently brush off a call for yet another federal investigation into the bank.
This just in, kind of
The Michigan news website MLive is reporting that U.S. Representative Dan Kildee is asking the Department of Justice to investigate JPMorgan for "alleged fraudulent schemes that resulted in $83 million in overcharges to Michigan and California for energy purchases."
This isn't exactly breaking news. On May 2, The New York Times reported that the superbank was under investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for "manipulative schemes" in the California and Michigan electric markets.
What would Nietzsche do?
But Kildee's call for the D.O.J. to get involved certainly isn't good news for investors still recovering from weeks of unrelenting press and stress over the now-failed proxy vote to strip Jamie Dimon of his role as chairman. Yet shareholder optimism is ruling the trading day so far. Perhaps Nietzsche's famous maxim, "What does not kill me, makes me stronger," is in operation here.
After the bruising proxy-vote battle over the move to de-chair Dimon, which any right-thinking JPMorgan shareholder voted no on, shareholders are right to feel confident and secure in their investment. The country's biggest bank arguably has the country's best banking CEO and COB at the helm: a leader that's done nothing but deliver for investors since he came on.
This call by Kildee will likely not go far. There are 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, with all of them angling for some share of the national spotlight, and all of them desperately trying to show their constituents how right they were to send them to Congress.
As far as I can tell, his request isn't getting much national attention yet. And JPMorgan's happy Thursday could be down to market noise as much as this or anything else. That could change, and this call for an investigation by Justice could actually gain traction. But as far as nails-in-coffins go, this is a tiny one for JPMorgan Chase, if it's one at all. And investors are right in seeing it that way.
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