(At 4:28 p.m. EDT)
If you had told me last week that
Bank of America
would finish Wednesday's session higher by 3.9% or more, I would've guessed the
would have climbed by 100 points or better.
Sadly, that wasn't the case Wednesday. While the blue-chip average did come very close to cracking into positive territory (at 3:30 p.m. EDT, the Dow was only lower by 2.11 points), the loss at the end of the day was 39.22 points.
That small pullback isn't anything for bulls to be overly concerned about, especially considering Wednesday's uninspiring reports on private-sector employment and services activity. The
showed that the private sector shed 371,000 jobs in July from a revised drop of 463,000 in June. Economists had forecasted a 340,000 decline in July.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Supply Management said its services index fell to a reading of 46.4 in July, down from 47 in June and below the consensus of 48. While the ISM manufacturing index has been better than expected, this report was a bit of a disappointing, as it appears that the increase in manufacturing activity is merely a shift away from services activity.
Still, the rally Wednesday in financials was in vain, essentially. In the last few weeks, it seemed as though we would get positive news, either in the form of better-than-expected earnings or economic data, and then a subsequent rally in financial stocks was the cherry on the sundae. Without the rest of the good news, the upward movement in financials Wednesday was merely the cherry.
Instead, we had some negative reactions to earnings.
Procter & Gamble
posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 80 cents a share, a penny better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate. However, revenue of $18.66 billion represented a 10.6% decline from a year ago and was below the consensus target of $19.32 billion.
Much like P&G did,
beat estimates when it reported an 11% jump in second-quarter earnings, but it too saw revenue slide.
Tomorrow, the Dow will likely be bolstered by
, which posted results after Wednesday's close. The company posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, two cents better than the Thomson Reuters consensus target. Revenue fell from a year ago to $8.54 billion, although that was in line with estimates. The stock was up 2% after Thursday's close.