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Bank Earnings Drag On Wall St

Weakish third quarter results from banking giants, JP Morgan and Citigroup helped knock Wall Street off its record perch overnight Thursday.

As a result, US stocks finished lower, falling from the records set in the previous session. The Aussie market will open flat after overnight futures trading saw a 2 point dip for the SX 200.

Both banks reported below OK figures, with the closely watched trading income metric especially weak.

Warren Buffett’s once favourite bank, Wells Fargo is reporting tonight and investors are wondering if the bak will reveal more financial damage from a series of consumer banking scandals and fake banking and insurance accounts.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co posted earnings and revenue that beat reduced analyst expectations, but its trading revenue was weak and the shares fell almost 1%, while shares of Citigroup which reported a higher-than-expected profit, slid 3.4%, thanks to its very weak trading performance.

Goldman Sachs, which reports its quarterly figures next week, saw its shares drop 1.7% in the wake of the slide in the shares of its peers.

That saw the Dow close 32 points, or 0.1%, lower at 22,841, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.2% to end at 2,550, while the Nasdaq eased 0.2% to 6,591.

All three benchmarks closed at records in the previous session.

Health-care stocks were mixed after President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to consider expanding health-insurance coverage in low-cost plans that aren't subject to Affordable Care Act rules. The announcement appeared to weigh on UnitedHealth whose shares lost 1.2%

Gold edged higher to close around $US1,296.50 an ounce on Comex, up $US7.60 an ounce. Comex silver for December delivery added 13.3 cents, or 0.8%, to end at $US17.266 an ounce and Comex December copper rose 3 cents, or 1.1% to $US3.128 a pound.

Oil prices were easier, despite a fall in US oil stocks and bullish talk from OPC and the iEA about the vanishing global oil surplus.

November West Texas Intermediate crude fell 70 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $US50.60 a barrel in New York, while in London December Brent crude, settled down 69 cents, or 1.2%, to $US56.25 a barrel. Iron ore prices edged up to $US60 a tonne cfr China on Thursday. The Metal Bulletin’s 62% Fe Iron Ore Index price rose 44 cents to $US60.09 a tonne.

The flat start expected today on the ASX will be a big change in sentiment after the market ended at a three and a half month high yesterday.

Australian stocks advanced on Thursday in a broad-based rally that lifted the market back to back to end-June levels by the end of the trading day.

The ASX 200 index rose 22 points, or 0.4%, to 5794, while the All Ordinaries index climbed 23 points, or 0.4%, to 5864.

View More Articles By Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.



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