Do You Have These 5 Top Bank Stocks On Your Watchlist Right Now?

It is that time of the year again when U.S. banks are subjected to their annual stress test exercise. A bank stress test is essentially a simulation conducted to analyze how banks would react to adverse market conditions. For instance, a recession or a financial market crash. Fortunately, all the U.S. banks cleared their annual stress test last week. Following that, the U.S. Federal Reserve believes that the top lenders in the country could easily weather a severe economic downturn. Therefore, that gives them a clean bill of health and allows them to reward their shareholders. As a result, bank stocks could be in focus in the stock market today. 

Yesterday, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) said that it would increase its dividend to $2.50 per share, representing an increase of a whopping 25%. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley plans to increase its dividend to 77.5 cents per share along with a share buyback program of $20 billion. Well, these are all encouraging signs that suggest that the banking industry is in good shape. As such, here are five of the top bank stocks worth checking out in the stock market today. 

Bank Stocks To Watch Today

Morgan Stanley

First, on the list, we have the global financial services company, Morgan Stanley. In essence, the company provides a range of investment banking, wealth management, and investment management services. MS stock has faced volatility much like the majority of other stocks today. In fact, the stock has fallen by over 20% this year. With banks passing their stress test recently, could the stock see better days ahead?

Last week, the bank announced the acquisition of American Financial Systems (AFS). For the uninitiated, this is a recognized leader in providing nonqualified executive benefit plan solutions and services to employers of all sizes. The acquisition will likely add to Morgan Stanley’s workplace offering spectrum. This ranges from executive services, retirement plan guidance and implementation, to equity compensation and financial wellness. With that in mind, would you consider adding MS stock to your watchlist?

MS stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Wells Fargo

Another top financial company today would be Wells Fargo. Put simply, this is a company that provides a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products, and services. Besides that, it also caters to consumer and commercial finance through the Internet, and various banking locations and offices. After passing its stress test with flying colors, the company expects to increase its third-quarter common stock dividend by 20% to $0.30 per share. Also, the company announced that it has significant capacity to execute common stock purchases over the next four-quarter beginning the third quarter of 2022. 

Despite all these positive developments, Wells Fargo does not appear to be resting on its laurels. The company recently announced the Wells Fargo Autograph Card, the newest offering in its portfolio of consumer credit cards. This follows the increasing trend of consumers re-engaging with the economy. The latest credit card will offer 3X points on top spending categories for everyday living and day-off adventures. Not to mention, the Autograph Card will also solidify its partnership with Visa (NYSE: V). Given these exciting developments, could WFC stock be a top bank stock to watch now?

WFC stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

Citigroup

Similar to Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley, Citigroup is one of the leading financial services companies that need no introduction. For a sense of scale, it has operations in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions around the world. It is also noteworthy that the company recently hired one of Deutsche Bank’s most seasoned investment bankers, Patrick Frowein. The 26-year veteran will bolster the bank’s leadership team in charge of banking, capital markets, and advisory in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. 

In addition, Citi announced last week that it has selected METACO as one of its partners. The company intends to fully integrate METACO’s Harmonize, a bank-grade digital asset custody, and orchestration platform into its existing infrastructure to develop and pilot digital asset custody capabilities. Together, this will bring out the best of Citi’s expansive custody network to develop a platform that enables clients to store and settle digital assets seamlessly. In light of this, it appears that several key points could potentially bring excitement to investors. With that being said, could C stock be a viable long-term investment?

C stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

Bank of America

Bank of America is another major financial institution with operations across Consumer Banking, Global Wealth & Investment Management, Global Banking, and Global Markets. Its Consumer Banking segment offers a range of credit, banking, and investment products to consumers and small businesses. Meanwhile, its Global Markets segment offers sales and trading services and research services to institutional clients across fixed-income, credit, currency, commodity, and equity businesses.

Well, as expected by most, Bank of America aced the stress test. Safe to say, this is a testament to the bank’s responsible growth strategy over the past decade. It has undoubtedly put the bank in a strong position to support its clients and deliver for its shareholders. As a result, it announced that it will likely increase its quarterly common stock dividend by 5% to $0.22 per share. All things considered, should BAC stock warrant more attention among investors?

BAC stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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Truist Financial

To sum up the list, let us look at Truist Financial. Unlike the previous entries, this is a company that has a larger focus on commercial banking. It provides a range of banking and trust services for clients and its digital platform. These services include commercial finance, lending, floor plan lending, leasing, insurance premium finance, and many more. Yesterday, the company announced an increase of 8% in its regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.52 per common share. 

Furthermore, Truist announced last week the grand opening of its Innovation and Technology Center. Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, the state-of-the-art facility features client journey rooms, a research lab, and collaboration hubs. The center will be a space designed for reimagining the client experience for more than 6 million interactions that take place daily at Truist. Keeping these developments in mind, could TFC stock be a buy right now?

TFC stock chart
Source: TD Ameritrade TOS

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