JPMorgan Chase Leads Dow Up in Early Trading

by Matthew Craft
Friday Jul 13, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) - Big banks are leading the stock market sharply higher in early trading Friday on Wall Street. JPMorgan surged 4 percent on a strong earnings report, the biggest gain in the Dow Jones industrial average.

The Dow rose 148 points to 12,722 shortly after 10 a.m. If the gain holds, it would break a six-day slump, the longest losing streak since mid-May.

JPMorgan, the country’s biggest bank, posted net income of $5 billion for the most recent quarter, easily topping Wall Street’s forecasts. It also beat expectations for revenue. The gain came even as JPMorgan revealed that the trading loss it disclosed in May had grown to $5.8 billion, nearly triple the original estimate.

Wells Fargo, the other major bank reporting results Friday, said its net income rose 18 percent on a strong pickup in lending. Wells Fargo has managed to avoid problems plaguing other big banks and is now the country’s biggest bank by market value. The bank’s stock surged 1.5 percent.

In other trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 16 points to 1,350 and the Nasdaq composite gained 29 points to 2,895.

Even with the early surge Friday, major market indexes are still on their way to weekly losses following a dismal start to the week. The Dow is down 0.4 for the week, and the S&P 500 is off 0.4 percent. The technology-heavy Nasdaq, which is more sensitive to swings in the economy, has slumped 1.5 percent this week.

Among other stocks making big moves:

- Procter & Gamble rose 1.2 percent after reports emerged that board members of the giant consumer products maker are considering the removal of Chief Executive Officer Robert McDonald. On Thursday the Federal Trade Commission cleared activist investor William Ackman’s hedge fund to make an investment in the company, whose many products include Tide, Bounce and Duracell. P&G rose $1.20 to $64.90 and is up 6 percent for the week.

- Lexmark International plunged 9 percent. The printer maker warned late Thursday that it fared worse during the second quarter than expected, a result of slowing business spending. Its stock fell $2.13 to $22.15.

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