Speed Reads

Nice work if you can get it

Wall Street executives have already cashed in a bundle since Trump's victory

The U.S. stock market went on something of a tear after President Trump's victory in November, and the biggest winners were Wall Street banks, led by Goldman Sachs. The rise in bank shares was a boon for investors in Goldman, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, and other top banks, but also for their executives, who sold off at least $100 million worth of stock since the election — more than any other November to January period in at least a decade — The Wall Street Journal reported. Bank stocks are collectively up about 20 percent since Nov. 9, more than triple the broader market.

That jump in valuation was attributed to expectations that Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress will gut financial reforms put in place by Democrats to prevent another banking crisis, plus enact lower taxes and other bank-friendly economic policies. The skyrocketing bank shares also revived millions of dollars worth of previously worthless stock options about to expire, and executives at top Wall Street banks also sold $350 million worth of stock to exercise those options, The Wall Street Journal reports. Not all banks have reported their executives' stock trades, and only some executives have to file such reports.

"Share sales by corporate executives are often viewed by investors as a sign that insiders could be growing wary of valuations or be less confident in an increase in share prices," The Wall Street Journal notes, though that's not necessarily the case in this round of profit-taking. You can read more about the Wall Street bonanza at The Wall Street Journal.