U.S. stocks stabilized today–thanks to better than expected earnings from Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and, well, Friday.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed up 0.02%. U.S. crude oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 0.24% but remained above $50 a barrel at $50.32. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) finished ahead by 0.16%.
Looks like nobody wanted to take a position long or short ahead of the weekend. The CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) moved lower for the first time this week, falling 3.42% to 16.12.
Citigroup reported third quarter earnings of $1.24 a share, eight cents above the Wall Street consensus. Revenue dropped 4.8% year to year but still came in at $17.8 billion, above the $17.32 Wall Street projection.
At JPMorgan Chase earnings of $1.58 a share were 19 cents above Wall Street projections. Revenue rose 8.3% year over year.
But although these better than expected earnings, reported before the market opened, were enough to rally U.S. stocks in the early going, most of the gain was gone by the end of the session. At 10:15 a.m. New York time the S&P 500 had climbed to 2148.52. The index closed the day at 2132.98, however.
By and large the trends of earlier in the week stayed in effect today. The dollar rose as markets continued to bet that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates at its December 14 meeting. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.2% after hitting a seven-month high on October 12.
Gold traded near a four-month low on expectations of an increase in interest rates.
Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose 4 basis points to 1.78%.
The pound fell another 0.6% and is now down almost 6% this month.
The odds are, at this point, that today didn’t mark a turn in the market trend and that on Monday investors and traders can look for a continuation of market nervousness.