US stocks tread water ahead of bank earnings

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange April 4, 2019. — Reuters pic
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange April 4, 2019. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, April 11 — stocks were little changed early today ahead of bank earnings releases that will kick off first-quarter reporting season.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 26,203.63, up 0.2 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.1 per cent to 2,890.73, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.1 per cent to 7,954.76.

Investors are looking ahead to Friday’s reports from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, which unofficially launch the reporting season that accelerates later this month.

Analysts expect companies in the S&P 500 to report a 3.0 per cent decline in operating earnings per share, according to CFRA Research.

“There’s an old Wall Street saying that one rarely injures themselves falling out of a basement window,” said CFRA Chief Investment Strategist Sam Stovall.

“Now that the bar for (first-quarter earnings-per-share) growth expectations has fallen so low, it seems to us that there is an increased likelihood for investors to be pleasantly surprised.”

Among individual companies, Tesla Motors fell 3.4 per cent following a report in Nikkei Asian Review that said Tesla and Panasonic were freezing an expansion plan at its US electric auto battery plant amid concerns over weakening demand for the vehicles.

A Tesla spokesperson said the company would make new investments “as needed,” but that it had found “there is far more output to be gained from improving existing production equipment than was previously estimated.” — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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