Updated from 8:09 a.m. EDT
(At 4:17 p.m. EDT)
Minutes Away From Stress Tests
I wish there was something else terribly interesting after the closing bell, but really, it's all about the results of the government's stress tests. They'll be examined, scrutinized, pulled apart, dissected, and gone over word-by-word. Frankly, I'm already over it.
So instead, let's look at some other headlines after Thursday's closing bell. For one,
reported a loss, disappointing analysts who were looking for a profit.
reported first-quarter earnings that beat on the top and bottom line, although guidance for the second quarter was a little weak.
Of course, it all comes back to the banks. Before the stress tests were released,
announced a $6-billion common stock offering, pressuring shares by 3% in the after-hours session.
Jobs Report Due Friday
Of course, all of the attention that is currently aimed at the government's stress tests will be focused Friday on the Labor Department's monthly jobs report. Make no mistake about it, this could be the most important news to come out this week.
While everyone seems to be really curious about which banks need capital and which do not, I'm more interested in seeing what the April jobs number will show, considering the ADP employment report came in better than expected earlier this week.
Economists are currently expecting the report to show that the U.S. economy lost 600,000 jobs last month, and that the unemployment rate rose to 8.9% from 8.5% in March. If either number comes in better than economists are predicting, it may not signal the end of the weakness, but at least the conditions aren't getting worse.
(At 6:55 a.m. EDT)
The Final Countdown
If I could, I'd embed an MP3 of Europe's song "The Final Countdown" into this story. Sadly, you'll have to make due without.
Results of the government's stress tests will finally see the light of day, but not until 5 p.m. EDT today. In the meantime, more leaks keep surfacing.
Wednesday was a heck of a day after several media outlets reported on who and who wasn't told by the government that they were in need of more capital, citing people familiar with each bank's situation.
Bank of America
, the financing arm of
were reported Wednesday to have capital shortfalls, according to several media reports.
reported late in the day that
Bank of New York Mellon
do not need any additional funds.
The Wall Street Journal
was out with yet another report early Thursday, this time reporting that
, and that Morgan Stanley was in need of $1.5 billion, contradicting
acknowledged Thursday that it had reported that Morgan Stanley needed no new capital, citing a person familiar with the matter. Any capital requirement would result from Morgan Stanley's plans to pay $2.7 billion to take control of Citigroup's Smith Barney brokerage venture, one of the people said.
said that regulators have told Bank of America it must take steps to address a roughly $34 billion capital shortfall, while Wells Fargo needs $13 billion to $15 billion.
The report also said GMAC needs $11.5 billion, Citigroup has a $5 billion gap, and both Regions Financial and
also need more capital.
did add that out of the total of 19 banks, JPMorgan, Goldman, MetLife, American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, and
were not in need of additional capital.
After days of leaks, differing reports and a rollercoaster ride for financials, 5 p.m. EDT really can't come soon enough. Following the release of the official results, several banks will hold conference calls to discuss the findings, which should be equally as interesting.
Will anyone be surprised once the results finally come out? Who knows. But Treasury Timothy Geithner said during an interview on PBS television's Charlie Rose that the results will be "reassuring" and that Americans "should be confident that these institutions are going to be viable institutions going forward."
It's hard to focus on the other news, given the anticipation of the government's results and the fact that Eliot Spitzer is on
right now, but I'll do my best.
For one, it's a busy day for retailers as they are reporting April same-store sales results ahead of the bell today.
have yet to report monthly results, but
The earnings calendar was also in focus, with
reporting quarterly results ahead of the bell.
GM said it lost $6 billion in the first quarter
, while burning through $10.2 billion. The loss was $9.78 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated a loss of $11.05 a share. Revenue fell 47% to $22.4 billion, while analysts had estimated $20.2 billion
fell short of analysts expectations with its first-quarter report, and the satellite radio giant said it lost subscribers from the fourth quarter. However,
Sirius XM raised its full-year view
and saw significant cost cuts, pushing shares 14% higher in the premarket session.
American International Group
and several other companies will also report quarterly results ahead of the opening bell.
The flow of economic releases picks up today after a quiet start to the week, with separate reports on first-quarter productivity and unit labor costs, weekly jobless claims, and consumer credit for March coming due.
Chairman Ben Bernanke will deliver a speech on banking supervision at the Chicago Fed at 9:30 a.m. EDT.