) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Friday, Jan. 15, 2010.

Friday's Early Headlines

  • JPMorgan's Profit Beats, Revenue Disappoints -- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report posted a fourth-quarter profit of 74 cents a share on revenue of $25.2 billion, compared to the Thomson Reuters average estimate for earnings of 61 cents a share on revenue of $27 billion. "Though these results showed improvement, we acknowledge that they fell short of both an adequate return on capital and the firm's earnings potential," CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon said in the release. JPMorgan added $1.9 billion to its consumer loan loss reserves in the quarter, raising its firm-wide credit reserves to $32.5 billion.
  • Intel Blows Past Fourth-Quarter Targets -- Intel (INTC) - Get Report said late Thursday that it had adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share on revenue of $10.6 billion, compared with the Thomson Reuters average estimate for a profit of 30 cents a share on revenue totaling $10.2 billion. Looking ahead to the first quarter, Intel expects revenue to fall between $9.3 billion and $10.1 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters have predicted sales around $9.35 billion.
  • Hershey Sizing Up Kraft's Next Move -- Hershey (HSY) - Get Report has been in talks with credit-ratings companies in recent days about how to structure an offer for Cadbury (CBY) without hurting its investment-grade debt rating, Bloomberg reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Hershey will decide whether to bid on Cadbury after Kraft Foodas (KFT) makes its final offer, the report said. Kraft has until Tuesday to raise its current offer of 762 pence a share while Hershey has another four days until Jan. 23 to make a decision to bid.
  • CPI, Manufacturing, Sentiment Data Due Later -- At 8:30 a.m. EST, the December reading on the consumer price index, an important indication of inflation at the consumer level, will be released. Economists polled by Reuters are projecting a 0.1% increase in the headline number, while the core figure (which excludes food and energy) should rise 0.2%. Also at 8:30 a.m. EST, the New York Federal Reserve will release its Empire State manufacturing survey, which should increase to a reading of 12 in January from 2.55 the previous month. Separately, the Federal Reserve will release the December results for its industrial production and capacity utilization reports at 9:15 a.m. EST, and shortly after the University of Michigan will release the January reading of its consumer sentiment index.
  • NY Fed Bank Targets Derivatives Trades -- Large market participants met with the New York Federal Reserve and said they will provide regulators with more information on over-the-counter derivatives trades in an effort to make the market more transparent. "The industry must undertake a major transformation to bring significantly greater levels of transparency to these markets. Increasing the amount and quality of market information available to participants, regulators and the public is critical to the work of shoring up the stability and efficiency of the financial system," said William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in a statement.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston


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