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Heading into the weekend, the wheels that began to turn yesterday in Washington look like they are picking up momentum, which means short-sellers may be feeling a little nervous and squaring their positions as a contingency against a debt-ceiling deal being firmed up when the markets are shut.
The leading US stock indices posted their second-best finishes of the entire year yesterday, with the Dow closing up more than 300 points, and the upward momentum has continued into today’s trading.
Banking giant JP Morgan reported a quarterly loss thanks to its legal issues, with more than $9 billion being swallowed by litigation-related costs. Excluding its legal fees, the company delivered earnings of $1.42 per share on revenue of $23.9 billion, compared to $1.40 a share on $25.9 billion in the same quarter last year.
This is the first time that JP Morgan has posted a quarterly loss under CEO Jamie Dimon. JP Morgan is normally seen as a bellwether for the rest of the banking sector; the exceptional nature of the litigation may not be reflected elsewhere in the sector, but issues such as rising interest rates causing soft demand for refinancing mortgages could well be a common theme amongst its peers when they report next week.