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At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 143 points to finish at 16,026.75. The Nasdaq dropped 54 points to finish at 3,999.73, while the S&P 500 lost 17 points to end the day at 1,815.69.
Here's a recap of other major events today.
- A Banking Surprise: Shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) surged after the company reported a 14% rise in net income, shattering analyst estimates. According to reports, the bank strengthened its expense controls and improved its credit quality, which helped offset concerns about its struggling mortgage practice. The earnings report shattered analyst expectations and makes Wells Fargo the most profitable bank in the Big Six. Rival JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) also reported earnings on Friday. JPMorgan shares slipped more than 3% after it reported weaker than expected results. Get the full report on JPM earnings and stock here.
- Cold Days Ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Gazprom may slash natural gas exports to Ukraine. The warning to other European leaders stems from an unpaid bill that Ukraine hasn't paid. Putin wants European leaders to meet and hold emergency talks on the matter immediately. Given the few options that Ukraine has and the fact that the United States won't begin exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) until next year, Russia is exerting its leverage over its neighboring government. Putin is demanding that Ukraine pay for all of its natural gas in advance of delivery, placing an increased strain on the nation's already fragile finances.
- A Mountain of Money: OilPrice.com reports that China is now boring a 7-kilometer hole in order to procure minerals and metals from the Tibetan Plateau. The high-altitude project has been kept a secret for a while, and the companies taking part are also remaining on the hush-hush. It is expected that this region of the world has up to 70 billion barrels of oil (the largest reserve in the world) and tons and tons of copper, gold, and other vital metals. China is looking to cut its dependence on other nations to procure the resources it needs to continue to grow its economy.