(Bloomberg) — Wall Street’s pandemic-era trading boom could be drawing to a close, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon signaling a 38% decline in trading revenue from a year ago — a bigger drop than previously expected.
Trading revenue at the largest U.S. bank will drop to just north of $6 billion in the second quarter, Dimon said Monday at a Morgan Stanley virtual conference. That tally could end up lower than the already reduced average analyst estimate of $6.5 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The drop comes after a year of pandemic-induced market volatility proved lucrative for the biggest Wall Street operations. JPMorgan shares dropped as much as 2% after Dimon’s comments, continuing a slide after the stock hit an all-time high earlier this month, with other bank stocks declining as well.
This quarter will be “more normal” for fixed-income and equities trading, meaning “something a little bit north of $6 billion, which is still pretty good, by the way,” he said. Investment-banking revenue, meanwhile, will be driven up by an active mergers-and-acquisitions market, resulting in what “could be one of the best quarters you’ve ever seen” for that business.
Dimon also pared back JPMorgan’s forecast for net interest income, predicting $52.5 billion this year, down from a previous estimate of $55 billion for 2021.
“I know it’s a little disappointing,” Dimon said.
Bank chiefs warned of muted loan demand as they discussed first-quarter results in April, describing an environment in which borrowers, still flush with stimulus cash, were paying down balances and weren’t demanding more financing. Dimon said at the time that “this is not bad news about loan demand — this is actually good news.”
As far as trading goes, Daniel Pinto, co-president at JPMorgan, said earlier this year that he expects “more normalized volumes in line with 2019 with some degree of growth.” The biggest banks’ Wall Street units thrived last year with government stimulus, Federal Reserve intervention and heightened volatility spurring a trading bonanza.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman also tempered expectations on Monday ahead of bank earnings next month. At the virtual conference, he cautioned that the investment bank’s revenue will be nowhere near the “gangbusters” level seen in the first quarter. The performance will still be better than the numbers Wall Street had been producing heading into the pandemic.
Gorman’s bank, which in past years set itself a target of at least $1 billion in quarterly revenue from its recovering fixed-income unit, had a couple of quarters where that unit posted as much as $3 billion. While it will fail to match that pace this quarter, the division’s haul will still end up well above the $1 billion target, Gorman said
(Updates with JPMorgan details starting in seventh paragraph, Gorman comments in last two.)
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