We're over the panic-selling of yesterday's market, but investors still aren't in a buying mood today. As of 3:15 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is down 0.45%, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) has fallen 0.7%.
Strong economic news did little to reassure jittery markets. New jobless claims dropped 8,000 last week to 355,000, which was slightly better than expected. In a big surprise for economists, the trade deficit narrowed to $41.5 billion in September, and exports climbed to an all-time high of $187 billion. Both of these reports could be seen as bullish for the market, but investors are looking past them today.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ) have turned their frowns upside down and are up 2.9% and 0.6%, respectively, for the day. Yesterday's huge sell-off was a tad overdone, and investors who didn't buy into the panic-selling are getting in today. JPMorgan also got the OK from the Fed to start buying back shares, and investors may be betting that Bank of America will soon do the same.
On the downside, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) fell 1.7% today after announcing that same-store sales fell 1.8% in October. But it isn't Europe and the U.S. that led the drop, as you might expect. Sales in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa fell 2.4%, while more mature markets performed better.
In energy markets, oil has gained nearly 1% today after a big decline yesterday. The commodity will likely fluctuate wildly heading into the fiscal cliff, but I would be shocked to see it move dramatically lower from here.
Are banking stocks a buy again?
With big finance firms still trading at deep discounts to their historic norms, investors everywhere are wondering whether this is the new normal or finance stocks are a screaming buy today. The answer depends on the company, so to help figure out whether JPMorgan is a buy today, I invite you to read our premium research report on the company today. Click here now for instant access to our best expert's take on JPMorgan.