May 11, 2012
Last night's news from JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) that it had suffered a huge loss thanks to a trader known as the "London Whale" had many expecting a big drop for the stock market this morning. But even as more economic data from China suggested slower growth there, a drop in the U.S. Producer Price Index led some to believe that the Federal Reserve might have room to add yet more monetary stimulus to boost the sagging economy. At about 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) had overcome an initial dip and were up a quarter-percent.
JPMorgan was the big loser on the day, falling 8% after its trading mishap. The bank's bets on indexes of credit-default swaps for more than 120 different North American companies apparently went bad, costing JPMorgan as much as $2 billion. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) fell 1% in sympathy, but since JPMorgan's losses came from proprietary trading, there's little reason to link the two moves.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) is down slightly after announcing yesterday that it's moving the headquarters of its personal-care business from Cincinnati to Singapore. The move prompted the usual nationalist reaction from critics, but P&G is simply going where the money is -- and with the beauty market in Asia growing much faster than its counterpart in the U.S., P&G will be better positioned to take advantage of the opportunity.
Finally, IBM (NYSE: IBM ) rose about half a percent. As Fool analyst Isaac Pino discussed earlier this morning, IBM is relying on three growth drivers to help push the tech giant forward. International expansion is an obvious element of IBM's future success, but it's also looking at high-margin profit opportunities closer to home as well.
Enjoy the weekend
A couple of days off can let you gain some perspective away from the rat race of frantic trading. Ponder some ideas at leisure by reading The Motley Fool's special report on long-term investing, where we discuss three promising stocks you can hold for the long haul. Click here to get your free report today!