With Q1 earnings season winding down, news from companies in the banking sector is likely to be rather thin this week. All of the "big four" banks have reported their results, now it's basically just regional and local lenders remaining.
One of note is New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB), which is slated to release its Q1 figures on Wednesday morning. This is worth keeping an eye on since, compared to its peers, NYCB pays a chunky dividend of $0.25 (currently yielding over 6%) and has done so consistently for nearly a decade. Barring any catastrophic news, it'll probably declare a similar amount for the upcoming payout.
In terms of the big guys and their distributions, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) will hand out the last of its $0.38 per share dividend on Wednesday. The lender's proposal to lift that amount to $0.40 was approved by the Federal Reserve in the recent Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review. In addition to that boost, the bank has enacted a $6.5 billion share buyback plan.
Investors in Citigroup (NYSE:C) will hopefully start benefiting from their bank's own repurchase initiative, which was launched last week at a limit of $1.165 billion. As the program is fresh, it'll be some time before we can determine what effect, if any, it has on its stock.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) will also be considering a large-scale payout... but unfortunately not to shareholders. The Department of Justice is apparently coming after the bank to pony up for its transgressions in the sale of mortgage bonds around the time of the financial crisis. The ink is still dry on a very similar settlement the firm reached with the Federal Housing Finance Authority in March for roughly $9.5 billion or so; according to media reports DoJ is looking for something north of $13 billion.
Meanwhile, news from the top of the economy should have an impact on the financial sector over the next few days, with several important figures being released. On Wednesday the Commerce Department will pass along its first reading of Q1 GDP, and everyone expects the figure to be light: 1% is the consensus. This year's winter was miserable and negatively affected many corners of the economy.
The April unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will be passed along on Friday, meanwhile, with the general anticipation of a ten basis point reduction (in month-over-month terms) to 6.6%.
For all banks heavily involved in the mortgage space -- particularly the segment's No. 1 and No. 2, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) and JPMorgan Chase -- pending home sales from the National Association of Realtors will be important, while Case-Shiller's home prices for February will also be worthy of a look.
All of this will be of concern to the Fed, especially to its new officials. Tomorrow the senate banking committee is to vote on President Obama's three nominees for the regulator's board, including potential vice chair Stanley Fischer. All are well qualified, experienced, and generally uncontroversial politically, so it'd be surprising if any of the nominations turn out to be problematic.
So this is likely not to be a momentous week for the banking sector. We shouldn't expect any earthquakes, just business as usual for the nation's lenders.