It’s not an obvious time for it, with the negative news surrounding the largest bank in the United States, but J.P. Morgan Chase is trading at its highest-ever level under Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon.
MarketWatch reports that shares of J.P. Morgan Chase were nearing $58 early Monday, a level never seen under Dimon’s tenure, which started on the last day of 2005. At only one other time has the stock been this high, and that was for short bursts in 1999 and 2000, when the Internet bubble was still, well, a bubble. In that other bubble, the run-up to the financial crisis, the highest J.P. Morgan’s stock ever got was $53.20 on May 9, 2007.
The recent gains have also pushed the bank to trading above its $52.01 book value. Shares of Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley on the other hand, are still stuck below their book values, though Morgan Stanley is close to breaking through.
The gains for J.P. Morgan come at a time when it’s beleaguered by giant mortgage settlements, run by people with a special propensity for making regulators miffed and is the place that just turned in a quarterly loss when all its major competitors were profitable.
So what gives ? One answer is that investors are hopeful that the lawsuits are coming to, if not a close, at least a more manageable level - and investors tend to care a lot more about getting those costs out of the way than about the seriousness of the wrongdoing alleged.
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