JPMorgan Chase and other big banks take center stage

1. Big banks are ready for their close-up: Stocks have gyrated wildly in the past month, mainly beca...

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 7:08 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2018 7:08 AM

1. Big banks are ready for their close-up: Stocks have gyrated wildly in the past month, mainly because of headlines about possible trade wars and not because of any real data about how companies are doing. That's about to change.

Investors will soon find out how big banks did in the first three months of the year. They'll also get some hints about what these financial giants expect for the remainder of 2018.

Money manager BlackRock, which owns the popular iShares family of ETFs, will report earnings on Thursday morning. And then more results come Friday morning: Jamie Dimon's JPMorgan Chase and scandal-ridden Wells Fargo are the highlights. Citigroup and PNC will also release earnings Friday.

Banks won't be the only ones reporting earnings next week. Delta, Bed Bath & Beyond and Rite Aid are also due out.

Results will probably be very strong. Wall Street is predicting that earnings for the S&P 500 will rise 17% from a year ago, and the banks should do even better.

Analysts are forecasting quarterly profit gains of about 20% from a year ago for BlackRock and Citigroup and a nearly 40% jump for JPMorgan Chase.

One reason: Ironically enough, the breakneck moves in the market are good for banks with big investment businesses. People tend to trade more in volatile markets, which boosts revenue for the financial firms. (Wells Fargo, which has less exposure to Wall Street, is expected to report just a 7% increase in profit.)

"Strip away the headlines and look beneath the surface and you'll see financials should help lead profits higher," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer with Cresset Wealth Advisors.

But investors will also be looking for clues from the big banks about whether the recent market turmoil will become more of a problem.

Related: Jamie Dimon says immigration deadlock is 'tearing apart' America

Dimon, who typically talks to reporters and financial analysts after JPMorgan Chase reports its earnings, has already issued a stern warning to political leaders in Washington.

He wrote in his annual shareholder letter last week that "retreating from the world is not the solution, nor is burning down the current system and starting anew."

Dimon added that "people don't think about the challenges in their everyday lives as being Democratic or Republican issues - and our political leaders need to stop thinking that way. We need a well-performing, competent government to thrive as a nation."

It will be interesting to see whether Dimon has anything more to say about this - and whether the heads of the other big banks will weigh in with their thoughts on the possibility of a trade war and other big geopolitical issues.

2. Zuckerberg goes to Washington: Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a joint hearing the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees on Tuesday and then the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.

Lawmakers have been insisting that Zuckerberg take their questions since the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke last month, raising concerns about how Facebook handles personal data. There's a lot to talk about.

Initial reports said that the data analytics firm had improper access to the data of about 50 million users. Then Facebook said this week that up to 87 million users may have been affected. It also confirmed that it uses automated tools to scan Messenger chats for abuse. Australia also announced this week that it is launching a formal investigation into Facebook.

Some think Zuckerberg's appearance could encourage other tech CEOs, like the heads of Twitter and Google, to finally testify.

Related: Facebook announces changes to combat election meddling

3. More tariff drama ahead? The United States and China are inching closer to a trade war. President Trump threatened Thursday to impose tariffs on $100 billion more worth of goods, leading the Chinese government to warn that it is willing to take "new comprehensive measures" in response.

The back-and-forth has already been dizzying for Wall Street. The Dow swung 700 points on Thursday, and re-entered a correction on Friday. If escalations continue, the market could react strongly.

Related: Dow tumbles 572 points as trade war fears pummel stocks

4. Inflation watch: The Labor Department will release the producer price index for March on Tuesday, and the consumer price index for March on Wednesday. The Fed will release the minutes from its March 20-21 meeting on Wednesday.

PPI and CPI are measures of inflation. Investors fear that if inflation takes off, the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates faster than it plans to. The indexes, and the details of the Fed meeting, could help investors figure out what to expect.

Related: US job growth slowed in March

5. Coming this week:

Monday - CBO budget outlook

Tuesday - Equal Pay Day; Zuckerberg testifies; PPI

Wednesday - Zuckerberg testifies; Fed minutes; CPI; Bed Bath & Beyond earnings

Thursday - BlackRock, Delta, Rite Aid earnings

Friday - Citi, JPMorgan, PNC, Wells Fargo earnings

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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