EQUITIES 4 minutes to read

NY Open: Bank stock bonanza bolsters Wall Street

Summary:  A suite of bullish earnings from the US financial sector sent shares scurrying higher in the wake of today's New York open.


Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS: NYSE) shares surged at the opening bell and continued higher. They are up 5.37% as of 14:00 GMT after Q4 earnings of $6.04/ blew away the forecast for $4.04/share. Those gains matched the 5.40% rally in Bank of America Corporation (BAC: NYSE) shares. BAC said quarterly profit tripled to $7.2 billion. The results follow on the heels of sizeable quarterly profit increases reported by JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. BAC and JPM said that fixed-income trading revenue declined; GS has legal issues stemming from a Justice Department investigation into its role in the massive Malaysia IMDB fraud.

The big bank results powered Wall Street higher, led by a 0.68% rise in the NASDAQ. Traders are modestly encouraged by the improved tone to the US/China trade talks while so far, not being overly concerned about the government shutdown.

The US dollar is shuffling sideways looking for direction. It started the session with minor gains across the G10 currency spectrum. It added to those gains in early trading, but those gains were erased by 14:00 GMT. EURUSD is unchanged while GBPUSD has inched higher. Traders are somewhat relieved that the failure of the Brexit vote didn’t trigger explosive volatility. Instead, it was anti-climactic.  The vote on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s no-confidence motion is a non-factor, especially since it is expected to fail.

EURUSD could be in for a move higher if the uptrend in the USDX succeeds in breaking the downtrend line from the middle of December, which comes into play at 95.85.

Oil prices continue to consolidate yesterday’s gains. WTI bounced in a $51.49/barrel-$52.29/barrel range and is trading at $52.23/b as of 14:00 GMT. The prospect of a positive resolution to the US/China trade spat and falling US crude inventories have underpinned prices.
Dollar Index (daily, source: Saxo Bank
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