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What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Jim Crumly - Updated Apr 18, 2019 at 5:46PM

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PG&E announced it will file for bankruptcy and Citibank kicked off the earnings cycle with a profit surprise.

Stocks fell Monday on signs the Chinese economy may be slowing more than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.16%) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.52%) opened lower but pared back their losses during the session.

Today's stock market

Index Percentage Change Point Change
Dow (0.36%) (86.11)
S&P 500 (0.53%) (13.65)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Bank shares rose while almost everything else sold off, with the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE -0.02%) closing up 0.6%. Biotech stocks turned down after making gains recently; the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI -4.65%) fell 2.3%.

As for individual stocks, PG&E (PCG 0.44%) announced it will file for bankruptcy, and Citigroup (C 0.89%) gave a boost to financial stocks with its earnings report.

Montage of graphs, numbers, and coins.

Image source: Getty Images.

PG&E will file for bankruptcy

Check out the latest PG&E earnings call transcript.

Shares of embattled utility PG&E plummeted 52.4% after the company gave notice that it will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy to seek protection from liabilities arising from the California wildfires. It also announced the sudden departure of CEO Geisha Williams. The company expects no impact to its electric or natural gas service when it files petitions for reorganization on or around Jan. 29. 

PG&E faces at least $30 billion in liabilities from the fires, according to news reports, but had a market capitalization of only $9.1 billion going into the weekend. Bankruptcy started looking all the more likely last week after S&P Global lowered the company's credit rating to junk status, but clearly there were plenty of investors hoping that California lawmakers would rescue the company. Now the utility will look to the courts to resolve its issues.

PG&E expects to have $5.5 billion in committed debtor-in-possession financing from major banks when it files, allowing it to continue operations.

Citigroup grows earnings despite revenue challenges

Check out the latest Citigroup earnings call transcript.

Citigroup led off earnings reports for big banks by missing revenue estimates but beating the consensus forecast for earnings, and shares rose 4%. Revenue fell 2.2% to $17.1 billion, below expectations for $17.59 billion. Earnings per share, adjusted for one-time items related to tax reform, rose 25.8% to $1.61, beating the analyst consensus by $0.06.

Volatility in financial markets caused a decline in Citigroup's bond trading business, which saw a 31% drop in revenue. Revenue from consumer banking was flat year over year, although the banking segment of the company's institutional clients group generated a 5% revenue gain. Overall, loans grew 4% excluding currency and deposits were up 7%. The bank's operating efficiency fell 86 basis points to 57.4% for the year, which was slightly better than earlier guidance.

Citibank's successful expense control, deposit growth, and positive comments about the outlook for 2019 were enough to at least partially alleviate investor concerns that have hurt the stock recently.

Jim Crumly has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Citigroup Inc. Stock Quote
Citigroup Inc.
$51.93 (0.89%) $0.46
PG&E Corporation Stock Quote
PG&E Corporation
$11.32 (0.44%) $0.05
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$32,779.98 (-0.16%) $-52.44
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$4,118.54 (-0.52%) $-21.52
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Biotech ETF Stock Quote
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Biotech ETF
$89.52 (-4.65%) $-4.37
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Bank ETF Stock Quote
SPDR Series Trust - SPDR S&P Bank ETF
$48.80 (-0.02%) $0.01

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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