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Market Preview: Desperate Measures

As for Wednesday's scheduled news, JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) CEO Jamie Dimon is set to testify before the Senate's Banking Committee about the shocking $2 billion (and counting) trading loss resulting from credit derivative hedging within its synthetic portfolio.

The debacle has been a severe blow to Dimon's image as Wall Street's teflon CEO and brought mockery down on the bank's so-called fortress balance sheet strategy. The hearing is slated to run from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. ET and the stated subject: A Breakdown in Risk Management: What Went Wrong at JPMorgan Chase? provides a pretty clear idea of what line the questioning is going to take.

Whether this blunder ends up being enough to fire a serious debate about breaking up the big banks again remains to be seen but how Dimon handles this grilling and another before a House committee next week could go a long way toward determining whether he remains in the C-suite long term. Reports late Tuesday are saying Dimon is going to argue the loss, which could ultimately run as high as $5 billion, should be viewed as an "isolated event". Good luck with that.

Meantime, it's another slow earnings day with Crown Crafts (CRWS), Culp (CFI), Korn/Ferry International (KFY), and Luby's (LUB) among the few companies opening their books.

The economic calendar picks up some of the slack with the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly application index at 7 a.m. ET; retail sales for May at 8:30 a.m. ET; the producer price index for May at 8:30 a.m. ET; business inventories for April at 10 a.m. ET; and weekly crude inventories data at 10:30 a.m. ET.

And finally, it was a fairly busy after-hours session. Dell (DELL) made the biggest splash. The PC maker, which is holding its annual analyst meeting on Wednesday, announced plans to start paying dividends. The company expects to kick things off with a quarterly payment of 8 cents a share starting in its fiscal third quarter.

The annual rate of 32 cents a share translates to a 2.7% yield based on Monday's closing price of $11.86. The stock was last quoted at $12.27, up 2.5%, on after-hours volume of nearly 700,000, according to Nasdaq.com.
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