$XLF – Deja vu all over again

Not to make too much of this but…

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co, the biggest U.S. residential mortgage lender and a major lender to the energy industry, reported a slight dip in quarterly profit on Friday as it set aside more money to cover bad loans to oil and gas companies.

Walls Fargo – whose latest balance sheet showed it had replaced Citigroup Inc as the third-largest U.S. bank – managed to increase revenue from mortgage banking for the first time in three quarters in the three months ended Dec. 31.

But its exposure to energy loans meant provisions for credit losses jumped by about $346 million from a year earlier to $831 million. Of the increase, about $159 million was mainly for oil and gas loans.

In the fourth quarter alone, the bank’s wholesale division set aside $90 million more for bad loans than in the third quarter, primarily for loans to energy companies.

And it has been reported the bank has as much as $17 billion in outstanding loans to energy companies.  Wells Fargo is already admitting bad loans to energy but what about the rest of the big banks? Given the tumble in energy and its various companies (especially frackers) one has to wonder how much the sector is running on credit from the major banks (one suspects a lot), and how many of those loans are in jeopardy of default.

For the “deja vu all over again” (as Yogi would put it) see charts below:

Back in 2007, prior to the free fall of the financial sector into the crisis of 2008, the housing sector (ITB), so important in bank lending, was falling apart for a full five months while the financial sector continued to make new highs, until both sectors crashed in lockstep.

(right click on chart for a larger image)

housing_20072016-01-15_1750

This time around the energy sector (XLE) has been falling for 10 months while stocks in the banking sector continued to make new highs.   Both sectors are now both in sync…and going down…

How far?  No telling, but there is some historical precedent for sector divergences such as these.

(right click on chart for a larger image)

Energy_2016_2016-01-15_1750

 

 

 

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