Stocks Find Footing as Oil Slips Lower - TheStreet

Stocks Find Footing as Oil Slips Lower

Wall Street climbs as a reassuring earnings statement by Wells Fargo helps quell investors' fears and oil sinks lower.
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Updated from 10:16 a.m. EDT

Stocks on Wall Street were on the rise Wednesday as a reassuring earnings statement by

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

helped momentarily quell investors' skittishness about the financial sector and as crude oil prices fell substantially for the second day in a row.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was adding 108 points to 11,070, while the

S&P 500

was up 10 points to 1225. The

Nasdaq

was climbing 26 points to 2242.

Wells Fargo shares were recently rising 23%, taking the financial sector along for the ride.

State Street

(STT) - Get Report

and

USBancorp

(USB) - Get Report

, which delivered solid earnings yesterday, were rising today, as were larger banks

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

JPMorgan

(JPM) - Get Report

.

Following yesterday's announcement by the

Securities and Exchange Commission

that it was cracking down on naked short-selling of pummeled mortgage companies

Fannie Mae

(FNM)

and

Freddie Mac

(FRE)

, shares of both were each soaring more than 20%. The two had been the focal point of the market's recent declines as the government developed a plan this weekend to offer support to their capital levels.

A rise in oil inventories contributed to today's decline in oil prices. After falling more than $6 in Tuesday's session, the largest daily decline since 1991, crude oil was lately down $5.49 at $133.29. Crude oil inventories for the week ended July 12 increased by 3 million barrels. Distillate inventories rose 3.2 million barrels, and gasoline inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels.

Gold was recently losing $9.20 to $976.

After Tuesday's close, technology bellwether

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

reported a second-quarter profit of $1.6 billion, or 28 cents a share, up from 22 cents a share in the year-ago quarter and ahead of analysts' expectations. Even so, the results failed to inspire much interest in the overall market.

Railroad service provider

CSX

(CSX) - Get Report

also reported following the close, delivering in-line pro forma earnings of $365 million, or 89 cents a share, up from 71 cents a share a year ago.

The arrival of the new day brought with it more earnings. Wells Fargo delivered second-quarter earnings that were lower than the year-ago results but ahead of analyst expectations. The bank also announced it would raise its dividend 10%. Shares were rising in premarket trading.

Meanwhile,

Delta

(DAL) - Get Report

posted a profit, excluding one-time charges, of 35 cents a share, beating the consensus estimate culled by Thomson Financial. American Airlines operator

AMR

(AMR)

also bettered estimates.

Drug company

Abbott Laboratories

(ABT) - Get Report

announced that its profit rose 34% year over year to $1.32 billion, or 85 cents a share, beating expectations of 79 cents a share.

Among materials companies, iron-ore provider

Cleveland-Cliffs

(CLF) - Get Report

said it will buy coal miner

Alpha Natural Resources

(ANR)

for $10 billion in cash and stock.

Traders have a hefty batch of economic data to contend with, as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' consumer price index rose 5% year over year, its biggest increase since May of 1991. Sequentially, the CPI rose 1.1% for June, up from 0.6% in May and above analysts' predictions of 0.7%. The core CPI figure increased 0.3% for June, up from a 0.2% increase for May.

The Fed reported a 0.5% increase in industrial production for June vs. a 0.2% decline in May. For the second quarter, production declined 3.1% sequentially. June capacity utilization increased to 79.9%, a reading that was ahead of economists' predictions of 79.4%.

Later, investors will also get a look at the minutes from the June 25 Fed meeting.

As for Treasuries, the 10-year note was losing 27/32 in price, yielding 3.82%. The 30-year was dropping 1-30/32 to yield 4.58%. The dollar was gaining against the euro and the pound, but slipping against the yen.

World markets were mixed. London's FTSE was lower, while Frankfurt's DAX, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng were edging higher.