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Why Citibank Is Crashing Today

Wednesday - 4/17/2013, 5:38pm  ET

Citigroup is down 2.21% already today. After a solid first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, it's not entirely clear what's driving shares down today, but poor market reaction to Bank of America's first-quarter earnings report probably isn't helping things.

Big-bank roundup
All the big banks are down today, as well as the markets:

  • B of A is leading the retreat, down a massive 4.76% so far.
  • JPMorgan Chase is also collapsing, down 3.07%.
  • Wells Fargo is even down more than a point: 1.12%

The herd has spoken
B of A reported first-quarter earnings today, which were far better than any investor had the right to hope for, but the market clearly doesn't see it that way. Citi itself reported solid earnings on Wednesday. Investors, again, had every reason to be pleased. And they certainly were: on Wednesday. But not today.

JPMorgan and Wells reported their first-quarter earnings last Friday. There were some signs of trouble for both banks, like shrinking total revenue and a shrinking mortgage business, but overall, the news was very good.

Chances are, all the big banks are just following B of A into the pit of pessimism and despair. There's no other reasonable explanation for all of them to be plummeting Earthward like they are.

The markets are down, too. Throw that on top of everything. Though it's entirely possible the banking sector is dragging the markets down along with it. Call it the chicken-and-egg effect: Which is dragging down the other?

In times like this, remember that you're in it for the long-term. Keeping an eye on company fundamentals and ignoring the day-to-day gyrations of the market are at the heart of investing Foolishly. "Get rich slowly" is one of The Motley Fool's investing mottos, and maybe something to keep handy on a Post-It for moments like this, when the markets are so inexplicably volatile. 

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This article was originally published as Why Citibank Is Crashing Todayon Fool.com

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