Wall Street ends mixed despite bumper bank earnings | Reuters

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(Reuters) – Wall Street indexes closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 falling despite another record intraday high for the latter and big banks’ stellar results on the first day of earnings season.

FILE PHOTO: A street sign, Wall Street, is seen outside New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Wells Fargo & Co rose on bumper first-quarter profits.

Goldman capitalized on record levels of global dealmaking activity, and Wells reduced bad loan provisions and got a grip on costs tied to its sales practices scandal.

JPMorgan Chase & Co’s shares fell despite the largest U.S. bank’s earnings jumping almost 400%, as it released more than $5 billion in reserves to cover coronavirus-driven loan defaults.

“The bank earnings were strong, but the market expected them to be strong,” said Christopher Grisanti, chief equity strategist at MAI Capital Management.

“So the question becomes how do the bank stocks rise more from here. That’s not clear. They have had a nice ride. I think there will be other places to make money more easily in the future.”

Despite bumper trading and investment-banking revenue, lending by both JP Morgan and Wells Fargo fell from a year ago. Investors will be watching this metric carefully in the upcoming earnings of smaller banks, which are more focused on traditional lending and deposit-taking.

The KBW Regional Banking Index has outperformed the KBW Bank Index year to date, although the latter – which represents 24 of the largest U.S. banks – has beaten the index of smaller institutions over the last month.

“Financials have done well for a while, so we’re happy with that now, but will we reach a point of diminishing returns in that sector? I don’t know,” said Drew Horter, president and chief investment officer of Tactical Fund Advisors in Cincinnati.

The S&P 500 financials sector was one of the first quarter’s best performers, rising 15% even as the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low in the near future. It rose on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 energy sector was the largest gainer among the 11 sub-indexes, as it tracked higher oil prices. [O/R]

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 54.87 points, or 0.16%, to 33,732.14, the S&P 500 lost 16.75 points, or 0.40%, at 4,124.84 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 138.26 points, or 0.99%, to 13,857.84.

The Nasdaq was weighed by technology-related stocks, including Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc.

Coinbase Global Inc jumped upon its listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday. Its shares opened at $381 versus a reference price of $250.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain-related firms including Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings fell after soaring ahead of Coinbase’s debut and as bitcoin hit a record high of over $63,000 on Tuesday.

Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru and David French in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Richard Chang

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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