Today’s Top Stories
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) reported a 4% profit decline for the third quarter and subsequently saw its shares drop 1.7 percent in pre-open trading. Other bank stocks followed suit with Bank of America Corp. falling 1.8 percent and Citigroup Inc. declining 1 percent. The two companies will report their third-quarter earnings next week.
After incurring three days of global BlackBerry (NASDAQ:RIMM) service interruptions, Mike Lazaridis, the founder and co-CEO of Research in Motion apologized to customers today in a YouTube video. Service has resumed but the problems have not been fully resolved.
“Since launching BlackBerry in 1999, it’s been my goal to provide reliable, real-time communications around the world,” Lazaridis said in a YouTube video posted on Thursday. We did not deliver on that goal this week, not even close. I apologize for the service outages this week. We’ve let many of you down.”
China (NYSE:FXI) is facing “severe” challenges from the current grim global economic outlook and reported its September exports rose a less-than-forecast 17.1 percent from the previous year; this is the lowest in seven months. Its trade surplus was $14.51 billion, the smallest since May, while China’s growth in shipments to Europe, dropped to 9.8 percent vs 22 percent year over year.
U.S. initial jobless claims barely ticked down to 404,000 from 405,000. Anything above 400,000 implies unemployment will not improve.
Minutes from the Sept. 20-21 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed officials had many disagreements about what to do next for the economy. The group looked at several options to boost the economy, including bond purchases, and in their next meeting, they will continue to explore alternatives.
Early Morning Hot Stocks
JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) is down nearly 2% in early trading after reporting third quarter results. The bank beat estimates, but earnings still declined 4% from last year. JPM earned $4.26 billion ($1.02 per share), compared to $4.42 billion ($1.01 per share) last year. An accounting change to the bank’s value of liabilities added 29 cents per share to earnings. Other big banks such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) are also trading lower.
PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM) is trading more than 3% higher before the opening bell. The company raised its third quarter and full-year guidance on better-than-expected same-store sales growth.
Shares of Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ:FAST) are inactive before the open, despite the company reporting a 29% rise in third quarter earnings. The company sells tools and other industrial supplies. Competitors include MSC Industrial Direct (NYSE:MSM) and W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW).
Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) is falling another 2.5% today as the CrackBerry outage continues. The company has apologized to customers through a released statement and even a youtube (NASDAQ:GOOG) video. However, the company does not know when the BlackBerry outage will be fixed. The outage comes at a perfect time for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which just released its new iPhone 4S.
This Afternoon’s Trending Stocks
- Banco Santander SA (NYSE:BSBR): Shares of Banco Santander SA are trading lower today following lead bank JP Morgan’s stock selloff. Banco Santander Brasil SA attracts deposits and offers retail, commercial and private banking, and asset management services. The Bank offers consumer credit, mortgage loans, lease financing, mutual funds, insurance, commercial credit, investment banking services, and structured finance.
- Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): Shares of Nokia Corporation are trading lower today after announcing it will release a new Windows phone in the second half of 2012. Bullish reports continue to point toward the Apple iPhone and away from Nokia and Blackberry. Nokia Corporation is a player in the mobile industry. The Company makes a range of mobile devices with services and software that enable people to experience music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games, business mobility and more. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks.
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): Shares of Morgan Stanley are trading lower 4% today after bellwether JPMorgan disappointed investors with their quarterly earnings report. Morgan Stanley, a bank holding company, provides diversified financial services on a worldwide basis. The Company operates a global securities business which serves individual and institutional investors and investment banking clients. Morgan Stanley also operates a global asset management business.
- British American Tobacco (AMEX:BTI): Shares of British American Tobacco are tradinghigher today as investors flock to defensive stocks. British American Tobacco PLC is the holding company for a group of companies that manufacture, market and sell cigarettes and other tobacco products, including cigars and roll-your-own tobacco.
- Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC): Shares of Symantec Corporation are tradinglower today. Symantec Corporation provides security, storage and systems management solutions to help businesses and consumers secure and manage their information. The Company offers software and services that protect, manage and control information risks related to security, data protection, storage, compliance and management.
- Chesapeake Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYSE:CHKM): Shares of Chesapeake Midstream Partners, L.P. are trading higher today. Chesapeake Midstream Partners LP owns, operates, develops, and acquires natural gas gathering systems and other midstream energy assets. The Company is principally focused on natural gas gathering, the first segment of midstream energy infrastructure that connects natural gas produced at the wellhead to third-party takeaway pipelines.
- United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (NYSE:UNG): Shares of United States Natural Gas Fund, LP are trading higher today. United States Natural Gas Fund LP is an exchange-traded fund incorporated in the USA. The Fund’s objective is for the units’ net asset value to reflect the performance of the price of natural gas delivered at the Henry Hub, Louisiana, as measured by the futures contract on natural gas traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Investing Insights: Google Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Increased Profit Helps Beat the Street.
After an already poor day for financial companies due to JP Morgan’s (NYSE:JPM) sobering earnings release, Fitch Ratings whacks several big financial names with a downgrade or negative outlook. The affected banks include: Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Barclays Bank (NYSE:BCS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and UBS (NYSE:UBS).
Investor Insight: JPM Earnings Are This Ugly Without Accounting Tricks
Shares of AT&T (NYSE:T) are ticking up even though the FCC says the cell phone provider has provided “almost nothing” to explain how many jobs would be created or lost if the merger with Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile is approved. The new iPhone 4S from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hits stores Friday. AT&T also competes with Sprint (NYSE:S) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).