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The Dow Jones news today features earnings reports from the three of the largest financial institutions in the United States: JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. Dow Jones futures are up one point this morning after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee yesterday.
Here are the numbers from Thursday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Friday's economic calendar.
The Five Top Stock Market Stories for Friday
- Wall Street's earnings season kicks into high gear today with the release of earnings reports from three of the nation's largest six banks. While investors are curious about the impact of interest rate hikes over the last seven months on the company's bottom lines, the headlines will center around Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC). Investors want to know how the "fake account" scandal has affected its operations. On Thursday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the central bank has the power to change board leadership at the company and wouldn't hesitate if an investigation found evidence that such changes were required.
- While earnings results will dominate the news today, a very important piece of economic data will be reported this morning. The June consumer spending report will offer an update into the habits of American shoppers at the start of the summer. Consumer spending comprises about two-thirds of the U.S. economy. In addition, the June inflation report will also be released at the same time. The metric remains an important factor in the Federal Reserve's understanding of the economy's health, including how they decide changes to monetary policy.
- Keep a close eye on share of American steel producers like United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) and AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS). These stocks rallied yesterday and climbed in early trading on speculation that U.S. President Donald Trump may implement quotas and tariffs on foreign imports. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could make an announcement as soon as today on whether to implement those policies.
- Shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) are the buzz on the floor before normal trading hours start today. Shares ticked up 1.6% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) added the retail giant to its buy list. The investment bank said that Wal-Mart has built a strong defense against retail rival Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and that it will continue to bolster its technology and e-commerce platforms to remain competitive.
- Crude oil prices were up slightly in early U.S. trading hours despite growing concerns about an international supply glut. Even though the United States and Europe reported large inventory declines and OPEC has pledged to commit to its deal to cap excessive production, traders are wary about rising supply. American production has increased by roughly 10% in the last 12 months thanks to falling production costs and strong investment metrics. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.6%. Brent crude added 0.4%.
Three Stocks to Watch Today: JPM, WFM, C
- Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) fell about 1% in pre-market hours after the company reported second-quarter earnings. The company beat top- and bottom-line earnings figures easily. The company cited strong lending revenue, but reported a bit of a decline in its trading activities. Today's performance has largely been priced into the stock since shares hit an all-time high last week.
There's No Ceiling for the Stock Market If This Happens...
- Meanwhile, Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFM) are off more than 0.9% in pre-market hours after the company topped Wall Street profit expectations. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.07, topping expectations of $1.01. The firm saw about a 4% jump in profits. However, the firm did miss on revenue expectations. The company's CEO Tim Sloan acknowledged in a statement that recent banking scandals have impacted the firm's reputation.
- Rounding out today's biggest financial stock reports is Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C). Like JPM, its strong earnings report was already baked into the stock price, which led to a slight decline in premarket hours. Shares were off more than 0.6% after the banking giant reported EPS of $1.28, while consensus expectations called for $1.21.
- Look for additional earnings reports from PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: PNC) and Infosys Ltd. (Nasdaq: INFO).
Friday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- Consumer Price Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Retail Sales at 8:30 a.m.
- Industrial Production at 9:15 a.m.
- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan speaks at 9:30 a.m.
- Business Inventories at 10 a.m.
- Consumer Sentiment at 10 a.m.
- Baker Hughes Rig Count at 1 p.m.