US banks have launched earnings season with strong results that have come in significantly better than investors were expecting. This includes results from national banks like JPMorgan Chase ($4.10 vs street $3.41, up 5.9% premarket), Wells Fargo ($1.23 vs street $1.13, up 4.6% premarket), and regional bank PNC Financial ($7.93 vs street $7.78). UnitedHealth ($6.26 vs street $6.16) and Blackrock ($7.93 vs street $7.78) also beat expectations.
Enthusiasm has been tempered somewhat, however, by a disappointing US retail sales report (-1.0% vs street -0.4%), suggesting that some parts of the economy are still struggling. Next week, investors may get a clearer picture of current business conditions and outlooks as companies from a wider variety of sectors report, particularly cyclical groups like railroads, airlines, homebuilders, steelmakers, manufacturers, and others.
US index futures are mixed this morning trading between -0.4% and +0.2%. European markets are on the rise again with the Dax up 0.5% and the FTSE up 0.7%. The 10-year US treasury note yield has crept back up toward 3.50% and the US Dollar is steady against Gold (which is trading near $2,050/oz) and other major currencies. Commodities are picking up today with copper up 1.4% and WTI Crude Oil up 0.3%.