The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) has fallen six days in a row as a number of key companies sent negative signals about second-quarter earnings.
Overnight, China reported second-quarter GDP growth of 7.6%, a three-year low and less than average estimates of 7.7%. But it was better than some economists had feared, and it helped lift markets in Asia and Europe. Dow futures also pointed upward before open with gains of 0.3%. Italian 10-year bond yields crept above 6% once again after Moody's downgraded its credit rating by two notches and reissued a negative outlook.
In its quarterly report this morning, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) revealed that its London-based trading loss cost it $4.4 billion -- more than double its original prediction of $2 billion. Despite the loss, the bank reported earnings of $5 billion for the quarter, or $1.21 per share, well ahead of expectations for $0.76, as its client-driven services turned in strong performances. The bank also reduced its first-quarter net income by $459 million, or about $0.11 per share, due to the May trading loss. Shares were trading up before open today.
Financial giant Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) reported EPS this morning of $0.82, a penny ahead of estimates and up 17% on year-ago profits, thanks to a sizable increase in mortgage income. Management cited a strong performance across the board that helped guide it to record quarterly mortgage applications. Yesterday the bank got dinged with a $175 million settlement over allegations that it discriminated against minority homebuyers during the housing bubble.
There's one economic report to look out for today: The University of Michigan consumer sentiment report comes out at 9:55 a.m. EDT. Analysts are expecting a preliminary July reading of 73.5, up slightly from 73.2 in June. A solid beat would be welcome news, as many indicators lately have showed global consumer spending slowing.
The Producer Price Index released earlier this morning showed that finished-goods prices rose 0.1% in June, ahead of estimates of a 0.6% drop, largely due to a greater-than-expected rise in food costs. The core PPI rate, which is often a greater indicator of inflation and does not include food or energy, rose by 0.3%, compared with projections of 0.2%. The report should not affect markets.
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