JPMorgan shares surge after Jamie Dimon says bank is ‘very valuable’ at current prices

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JP Morgan Chase & Co. Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on accountability for megabanks in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on April 10, 2019.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase shares rose Tuesday after CEO Jamie Dimon called the biggest U.S. bank “very valuable” at the current price.

“I think JPMorgan is a very valuable company at these prices,” Dimon said in response to a question at a financial services conference about the New York-based bank’s valuation and possible scenarios for the U.S. economy. 

JPMorgan shares surged 7.9% to $96.58 after Dimon made the remarks.

The context for the question: Dimon bought $26 million in shares of JPMorgan in February 2016, a confidence-boosting move that later proved to be close to the bottom of the stock market at the time. 

“I’m not trying to predict the bottom,” Dimon said, adding that “you cannot be a bank and be immune to what goes on in the world out there.” JPMorgan has said that its earnings, compared with a record in 2019, would take a hit in 2020 as loan losses climbed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dimon added that was hopeful that his “base case” for the economy would occur, which would include improving unemployment and other metrics in the second half of the year after hitting almost 20% in the second quarter.

“I give it some pretty good odds,” Dimon said. “The government has been very responsive, the Federal Reserve has been very responsive. Large companies have a huge wherewithal, hopefully we’ll keep the small ones alive long enough that most of them get back into business.”

While Dimon said the bank was prepared for a longer malaise caused by the coronavirus, he was hopeful that reopening efforts around the country would work. That sentiment was in line with broader optimism Tuesday about the economy, which helped lift stocks above its 200-day moving average.

“You could see a fairly rapid recovery,” he said. “I think that’s got a good chance.”

Dimon said that the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented actions to prop up financial markets was like “water that fills every crevice.”

I do think that that liquidity lifts up, it’s almost impossible to measure, the stock market and all asset prices,” he said. 

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