NEW YORK (
) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Wednesday, April 14, 2010.
Wednesday's Earnings Roundup
- JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report posted a better-than-expected profit of 74 cents a share in the first quarter, above the consensus target of 54 cents a share. Revenue was up 4.6% to $28.17 billion, also above consensus. Among the bank's credit metrics, the provision for credit losses fell by 30% from a year ago to $7 billion, while Tier 1 Capital ratios rose to 11.5%, an increase from the year-ago and sequential quarters. The investment bank unit posted revenue of $8.32 billion for the latest three months with $5.5 billion of that attributed to its fixed income markets activities.
- Intel (INTC) - Get Report reported a first-quarter profit of 43 cents a share, which was a nickel better than the Thomson Reuters average estimate. Revenue jumped 44.2% from a year ago to $10.3 billion, also above consensus targets. Intel said gross margins improved in the first quarter to 63%, and the company expects second-quarter gross margins of roughly 64%. In addition, Intel offered better-than-expected revenue guidance for the second quarter.
- CSX (CSX) - Get Report said it had first-quarter earnings of 78 cents a share, which was well above the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 69 cents a share. Revenue climbed 11% from a year ago to $2.5 billion, above the $2.38 billion analyst target.
- Progressive (PGR) - Get Report posted a first-quarter profit of 44 cents a share, which was above the Thomson Reuters average estimate of 39 cents a share. Revenue of $3.78 billion was up 7.2% from a year ago and better than Wall Street's forecast of $3.69 billion.
Wednesday's Early Headlines
- CPI, Retail Sales Data for March Released -- The consumer price index, which monitors inflation at the retail level, rose 0.1% in March as economists had expected. Excluding food and energy, the CPI was flat, compared with expectations of a 0.1% increase. Year-over-year increases in both the headline and core CPI numbers were slightly below expectations. In a separate report, the government said retail sales rose 1.6% in March, above the 1.2% consensus. Excluding autos, sales were up 0.7%, also slightly above expectations.
- Morgan Stanley Fund May Lose $5.4 Billion: Report -- Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report has informed investors in its $8.8 billion real estate fund that it may lose nearly $5.4 billion from bum property investments, the biggest dollar loss in the history of private-equity real-estate investing, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing fund documents. The losses stem from investments in properties such as the European Central Bank's Frankfurt headquarters, a big development project in Tokyo and InterContinental hotels across Europe, among others, the newspaper says.
- Foreclosure Efforts Not Enough: Congressional Watchdog -- The Congressional Oversight Panel released its April evaluation of the Treasury's foreclosure mitigation programs, which found that the "Treasury's response continues to lag well behind the pace of the crisis." Even when the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is fully operational, they "will not reach the overwhelming majority of homeowners in trouble," the report said, specifically noting that for every borrower who avoided foreclosure, another 10 families lost their homes. The report raises specific concerns about the timeliness, sustainability, and accountability of Treasury's foreclosure programs.
- Mortgage Applications, Rates Drop -- The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell by a seasonally adjusted 9.6% last week. Refinancing applications fell 9% compared with the prior week, the survey showed, while purchase activity was down a larger 10.5%. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate slid to 5.17% last week from 5.31% the previous week, the MBA said.
- Bank of America Names Noski as CFO -- Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report named outsider Charles Noski as chief financial officer effective May 11. Noski fills a financial chief slot that has been empty for months and was previously held by Joseph Price, now president of consumer, small-business and card banking. Previously, Noski was financial chief of Northrop Grumman (NOC) - Get Report and board vice chairman and CFO of AT&T (T) - Get Report.
- Starbucks Plans Big Move Into China -- Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Report is planning to open thousands of stores in China over time, Schultz told The Wall Street Journal. Schultz said Starbucks is also eager to tap the potentially lucrative Indian and Vietnamese markets, where it doesn't yet have a presence.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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