Why Citigroup Skyrocketed This Week


It was a big week for each of the Big Four banks, with Citigroup coming in second only to JPMorgan Chase in terms of percentage gain. For both of these superbanks, chalk up these massive moves in general to the so-called Tepper rally, and to some welcome news in particular from Citi.

Tale of the tickers
But first, here's a quick roundup of how Citi and its peers are looking at the near the end of the trading day on the last trading day of the week:

  • Citi is up a blowout 6.00%, so far.

  • JPMorgan is up an even bigger blowout 7.00%.

  • No slacking for Bank of America, which is up 3.39%.

  • And even the normally reserved Wells Fargo is up a mighty 5.10%.

Alongside the Big Four, the markets have been humming all week, too:

  • The broader S&P 500 is up 2.19%.

  • The narrower Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 1.72%.

  • And the Nasdaq Composite is up 1.81%.

Foolish bottom line
The Tepper rally refers to David Tepper, of the wildly successful hedge fund Appaloosa Management. Speaking on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Tepper named Citi as his biggest holding, and named JPMorgan as a smaller holding.

Tepper spoke on Tuesday, and all the big banks took off, as did the markets in general. Citi and JPMorgan investors should write Tepper a nice thank you note for his part in making their investments soar the most out of the Big Four banks. But Citi had two other tricks up its sleeve that may have also contributed a little something to this week's staggering performance.

On Wednesday, the superbank reported that it settled with Lehman Brothers Holdings -- the last remnants of the once-mighty Lehman Brothers investment bank -- for a $1.2 billion priority claim "over disputed amounts owed on foreign-exchange trades." Also on Wednesday, Citi announced the sale of its Credicard division to Brazilian superbank Itau Unibanco Holding SA. The $1.37 billion sale price will net Citi a cool $300 million.

I think both of these deals point to a still-limping bank on the move to complete recovery -- with top management maneuvering nimbly, going after monies owed, and just looking out for the long-term interests of Citi in general.

But always remember that your favorite stocks are going to jump around in price for sometimes no apparent reason. And more often than not, it's due to general market noise rather than something specific going on at the companies themselves.

This is why The Motley Fool stresses a long-term view of investments. Tune out the market noise and tune into the fundamentals of the companies you're invested in. And be aware that obsessive ticker checking can lead to excessive trading, which costs money and can hurt the long-term performance of your portfolio. So leave the hourly ticker checking to the day traders: Your portfolio will thank you, even if your broker won't.

Looking for in-depth analysis on Citi?
Then look no further than our new premium report on the superbank. In it Matt Koppenheffer -- The Motley Fool's senior banking analyst -- will fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Citigroup. He'll also clue you in on what areas investors need to watch going forward. And with quarterly updates included, this could quite literally be the last source of Citigroup investment research you'll ever need. For instant access to Matt's personal take on Citi, simply click here now.

The article Why Citigroup Skyrocketed This Week originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor John Grgurich owns shares of Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. Follow John's dispatches from the not-so-muddy trenches of high-finance and big-banking on Twitter @TMFGrgurich. The Motley Fool recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a gripping disclosure policy.

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