by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. From that point on, through March 23, the share price performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 began to diverge dramatically from the share price performance of the mega banks on Wall Street. (See chart above.)
From the start of the year in 2020, the S&P 500 fell a little more than 30 percent through March 23 while Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase were down from 40 to 50 percent. Citigroup was down by a stunning 56 percent. (Citigroup had closed at $79.89 on December 31, 2019. By the close of trading on March 23, 2020, it was a $35.39 stock.)
We compared these bank stocks to the S&P 500 because the companies that make up the S&P 500 index are the corporate customers that these banks are supposed to be lending to.