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TheStreet Open House

JPMorgan Investment Bank Avoids Crisis, for Now (Update 2)

Stocks in this article: JPM GS MS C BAC KBW BCS TRI

Total fixed income, currency, and commodity trading revenue fell to $3.33 billion below $4.28 billion earned in the prior quarter -but more than $3.12 billion this time last year. Meanwhile, equity trading increased to $1.42 billion from $1.22 billion in the second quarter and $1.14 billion at this point in 2010. Overall FICC trading revenue is up 6% and equity trading is up 11% 9 months into the year, when compared to 2010.

JPMorgan's shaky investment banking earnings numbers may be a harbinger of things to come as Morgan Stanley (MS - Get Report), Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report), Citigroup (C - Get Report) and Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) all report earnings in coming weeks. For other investment banking divisions, falling revenue from operations may be erased by gains from widening credit spreads.

"Third-quarter 2011 has been a very difficult quarter for market making across the Street, particularly in FICC trading... We are currently forecasting the median bank's FICC revenues to decline 14% and equity trading revenues to increase 17% from 2Q11," wrote analysts at KBW (KBW) in a September 26th note.

In a separate note written following JPMorgan's muted outlook for investment banking, Mike Mayo of CLSA wrote, "We think these lower activity levels will carry forward until the global economic and market outlooks improve."

If debt valuation gains based on widening bank credit spreads are readjusted to losses in coming quarters, management and analyst pessimism for investment banking revenue may actually be reflected in coming quarters.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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