The stock market is suffering a mild hangover after yesterday's rally. Yet it looks like the bulls might be able to shrug it off and actually push stocks back into positive territory before the closing bell. Economic data out this morning was positive but investor focus remains on earnings results. After JPM's stellar report yesterday the results from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs didn't quite match up and traders sold the news. Meanwhile the dollar's bounce is fueling some profit taking in commodities. Gold is down almost $14 to $1,051 an ounce. Crude oil is ignoring the dollar strength and continues to rally with oil up 2.2% near $77 a barrel.
Asian markets were up. Banks helped lead the way as investors reacted to JPM's report from Wednesday. The Japanese NIKKEI was the best performer with a 1.7% gain and a close over round-number resistance at the 10,000 level. The Chinese Shanghai index was up 0.3% but it failed to close over resistance at the 3,000 mark and settled at 2,979. The Hong Kong Hang Seng also struggled to close over resistance. The Hang Seng traded above the 22,000 mark intraday but eventually settled at 21,999 with a 0.5% gain.
In Europe this morning the major indices were lower as financials reacted to the earnings results from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Stocks were also pressured from a surprise earnings miss out of Nokia (NOK), who unveiled a large writedown in its networks unit and a decline in its smartphone sales. Shares of NOK dropped more than 10% on the session. The French CAC-40 lost -0.03%. The German DAX fell -0.4%. The English FTSE slipped -0.6%.
Citigroup (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) were the big stories today. C reported a loss of 27 cents a share, which was 11 cents better than analysts' estimates of minus 38 cents. Revenues came in better than expected at $20.39 billion but investors were unhappy with the billions in loan losses. Citigroup said it added $800 million to its loan loss reserves in the third quarter, which was a big improvement from the $3 billion it added in the second quarter. Actual loan losses were about $8 billion compared to $8.4 billion in the second quarter. Shares of C are off 6.4% at $4.68.
Goldman Sachs was probably the bigger story today. Expectations were running really high after JPM's better than expected report on Wednesday. Analysts were looking for GS to turn in a profit of $4.24 a share yet the whisper number had risen to $6.00 a share. Thus the company's results of $5.25, a big beat of more than $1.00 was not good enough. The $5.25 a share equals a quarterly profit of $3.03 billion compared to only $845 million a year ago. A few analysts were concerned that the company's massive trading revenues may not be repeatable. According to their report GS' revenues from commodity trading, currencies, and fixed income surged from $1.6 billion a year ago to $5.99 billion. The 2.2% decline in shares of GS today really isn't that bad and it's normal to see some sell-the-news sort of move lower.
In economic news the weekly jobless claims and manufacturing data improved. The Federal Reserve's New York Empire State Manufacturing survey soared nearly 16 points from 18.9 in September to 34.6 in October. Numbers over zero indicate expansion and this was the third month in a row the survey was positive. October's reading at 34.6 is the highest level in five years. Looking inside the report new orders rose from 19.8 to 30.8 and shipments soared from 5.3 to 35.1. Meanwhile the Labor Department said weekly jobless claims fell from 524,000 a week ago to 514,000. This number has been dropping for several weeks.
Earnings will continue to take center stage for the rest of this week and the next. Tonight after the closing bell we'll hear from AMD, IBM and GOOG. AMD's report won't have as much impact given INTC's results earlier this week. Wall Street expects IBM to deliver a profit of $2.38 a share. GOOG is expected to earn $5.42 a share. Bank of America (BAC) reports earnings Friday morning before the market opens and analysts are looking for a loss of 7 cents a share.
Let's take a quick look at charts for the major averages:
Chart of the S&P 500:
Chart of the NASDAQ:
Chart of the Dow Industrials:
Chart of the Russell 2000 index:
The market is treading water sideways with a slight bearish bias for the day. I'm seeing a lot of similar movement in the OptionInvestor.com plays. However, ATI is showing relative strength with a 4% rally today. The stock has hit our second and final target at $38.50. Oil service stock CLB is hitting new highs with a 1.6% gain and a move over $109. DO has hit our second target at $104.50. EOG is up 1.6% near $93.