To receive the "Market Recon" daily newsletter, please head here.The Banks Numbers from some 26 members of the S&P 500 may have trickled out over the last couple of weeks, but in the way that the old Alcoa was once the name that traders looked to in order to unofficially kick off "earnings season", that mantle of leadership now falls to the banks. Actually, the mantle of leadership among the banks themselves falls to both JP Morgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) , as those two will bat lead-off. You'll see their numbers and hear their words Thursday morning Consensus expectations for the quarter have been rapidly lowered since the 3.2% growth that I wrote of last week to something just above 2% at this time. With gaudy expectations in hand for the energy sector, that leaves the rest of planet equity looking at very little year-over-year gains, if any. Financials are expected to be a negative drag on the S&P 500 this quarter, by the way, in case you just fell off of a turnip truck and are looking for a little guidance. Trading has been ugly. The banks have told us this ahead of time. A lack of volatility has led some clientele either into a certain level of complacency, or simply a lack of interest. This has caused Goldman Sachs GS to publicly explore the idea of trading digital currencies. What could possibly go wrong there

Obviously, our ears will be open to learning of the broader impact that Mother Nature herself has had on these businesses: what kind of whether specific losses she has wrought, and what kind of area-specific recovery the banks have planned. Commercial and industrial lending will be an issue, as growth in this space across the nation is known to have slowed Both of Thursday's prime contestants are expected to show growth in earnings as well as revenue, but remember both JPM, and C are best-in-class type names, at least I think so. All of the banks will obviously respond favorably to the idea of another increase for the fed funds rate in December. Some more than others. These two are larger and more international in nature than some of the others, and therefore their exposure to policy risk is more global. In the wake of Wednesday's FOMC minutes release, the spread between the two-year and the 10-year is down to 0.816. That could put pressure on some banks going into today's news As a shareholder in Citigroup -- which is a holding in the Action Alerts PLUS charity portfolio that Jim Cramer co-manages -- I would like to hear something on the bank's drop into fourth place as far as M&A is concerned, according to Dealogic. JPM's stock price appears to me at least to be headed for triple digits. I am not a shareholder. If something comes out of the guidance that lands the stock below $94 (it closed last night at $96.84), I might be inclined to wet the beak
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon

The Minutes

What did we learn from Wednesday's release of the FOMC minutes for the meeting ended on Sept. 20? Well, on the surface not all that much. I think the idea of that next rate hike in December was solidified despite the probability of such a move backtracking just slightly, as far as futures trading on the CME are concerned. This morning, those odds stand at 82%, off from 88% 24 hours ago. The dollar has weakened small, and Treasuries have firmed a bit, as these minutes were perceived on the street as somewhat dovish Why dovish? While it appears that all systems are go as far as that December move and balance sheet management are concerned, there seems to be a broad level of concern over the central bank's inability to inspire greater consumer level inflation. Obviously, Janet Yellen is not the only one at the Fed who seems unable to grasp the forces at work here, and the impact upon results of those forces Though the minutes are lengthy, and kind of a pain to look at, there was one quote that stands out.
Tweet of the Day

They can't force consumers into more debt-consumption. And their created money can't be touched by consumers. Thus, no consumer inflation — Randy Woodward (@TheBondFreak) October 12, 2017

Sarge's Trading Levels

These are my levels to watch today for where I think that the S&P 500, and the Russell 2000 might either pause or turn SPX: 2571, 2562, 2555, 2544, 2535, 2529
RUT: 1527, 1520, 1511, 1505, 1499, 1491 Today's Earnings Highlights (Consensus EPS Expectations Before the Open: ( C) ($1.31), ( DPZ) ($1.22), ( JPM) ($1.65 ________________________

Join Jim Cramer, CNBC's Jon Najarian and Other Experts Oct. 28 in New York

Jim Cramer will host CNBC's Jon Najarian, TD Ameritrade's JJ Kinahan, famed analytics expert Marc Chaikin and other market mavens on Oct. 28 in New York City to share successful strategies for active investors You can join them as they discuss how smart investors can make the most of options trading, futures contracts, fundamental and quantitative analysis and great ETFs to buy right now. Participants will also get a chance to meet Jim and other panelists and take photos When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m.-3 p.m Where: The Harvard Club of New York, 35 West 44th St., New York, N.Y Cost: Special early bird price: $150 per person. (Normal price: $250 Click here for the full conference agenda or to reserve your seat now

At the time of publication, Stephen Guilfoyle was long C, although positions may change at any time.

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