At approximately 10:00 a.m. EST, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said that the U.S. Capitol will close from Thursday thru Monday to be certain that there is no anthrax spores in the building. Mr. Hastert reported that anthrax spores were found in the ventilation system of the Senate building and that a sweep of the Senate offices was to take place today. The move comes after more than 20 members of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's staff tested positive for exposure to anthrax after a letter laced with anthrax was delivered to Daschle's office.
Stocks gave back early session gains shortly after Mr. Hsstert's announcement and actually dipped into the red for a period of time. Stocks have since rebounded back into positive territory with the Dow Industrials showing gains of 41 points to 9,425.
The Dow's gains are being led by shares of J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) as the stock gains 6%% to $36.01. This morning, the number 2 U.S. bank holding company reported earnings of $449 million or 22 cents a share. Excluding charges JPM earned $1.04 billion or 51 cents a share. Analysts as polled by Zacks were looking for earnings of 57 cents
J.P. Morgan Chase -
While JPM's earnings came in below estimates, the stock has found buying today and there's some room to the upside. The 50-day moving average at $37.48 stands between the bulls and their near- term goal of $39.97 as defined by our conventional retracement bracket.
Other stocks driving today's Dow performance are shares of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), which is trading up 4% to $106, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) up 4% to $25.70 and Citigroup (NYSE:C) trading higher by 2.5% to $47.23.