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Citigroup Inc. (C): Why It’s Up

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) investors, rejoice. Your favorite superbank is up for the week. Just barely, but it’s up — by 0.08%, and bucking the down trend of its Big Four peers.

Tale of the tickers
Here’s where the rest of the Big Four are ending up at the end of the trading week:

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is down a big 1.52%.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is down an even bigger 2.53%.

And Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is down a significantly smaller 0.24%.

Foolish bottom line
Being up by 0.08% isn’t much, and Citi could easily slip under breakeven for the week. But even if Citi nets out down for the week, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be down as much as its peers will be. So what’s keeping Citi afloat when its Big Four brethren are sinking?

On Wednesday, I wrote about the fact that Citi is finding itself fighting for the loyalty credit card business of the new airline that will be born out of the merger of AMR Corp.‘s American Airlines and USAirways. Citi traditionally handled American’s loyalty credit card business, but with the merger that’s no longer a given.

Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C)For the first quarter of 2013, Citi reported revenue of $2.02 billion from Citi-branded credit cards. As a retail bank at heart, it’s important that the superbank keeps the basics like its credit card business alive and well. Maybe investor worry over this is what’s kept the bank flat, if not actually down, for the week.

There’s not much else going on with Citi itself. What about with the markets?

All the usual indicators — the S&P, the Dow, and the Nasdaq — were middling along throughout the week until today, and then pow! The Labor Department released some surprisingly good April employment numbers and the markets all popped, with the S&P 500 actually breaking the 1,600 mark for the first time ever. As a result, Citi is up 1.22% on the day, which is helping to erase the losses of a tough week.

Except for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), all of the Big Four banks are up today, following the market’s swell. And that’s the real story behind most of what you see on a day-to-day, week-to-week, or even month-to-month basis for your favorite stocks and for the markets. Things can be up or down for no seemingly good or easily explainable reason.

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