Shares of U.S. banks and brokerage firms are rallying after The Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point to a range of 1.5%-1.75%.

The financial sector’s profitability increases with higher interest rates. Retail banks, commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, and brokerages have large cash holdings due to customer balances. Interest rate hikes directly increase the yield on this cash, and the proceeds impact earnings. Publicly traded companies in the space include Bank of America (BAC), Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Charles Schwab (SCHW), E-Trade (ETFC), Interactive Brokers (IBKR) and TD Ameritrade Holding (AMTD).


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