Market Minute: Stocks Start from Record Highs; Big-Bank Profits Soar

Last month's summer swoon seems like ancient history, and two top banks post earnings. Those and more are what's making business news Friday.

The Dow industrials (^DJI) rallied 169 points Thursday, soaring back into record territory. It's the Dow's 24th record this year, but the first since late May. The S&P 500 (^GPSC) also roared to an all-time high, and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) surged 57 points. It's the Nasdaq's 11th gain in the past 12 sessions.

ben bernanke federal reserve chairman stocks investing interest rates
Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
That rally was sparked by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about maintaining the central bank's low interest rate policy. But Friday, attention focuses on banks of a different kind. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) are out with second quarter earnings.

JPMorgan's net rose 31 percent, topping expectations, led by strong gains in credit card transactions. Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a 20 percent rise in second-quarter profit. Its net income rose to 98 cents a share from 82 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

Many analysts expect the financial sector will post the best earnings growth in the second quarter.

H&R Block (HRB) is getting out the banking business, in order to avoid falling under the regulatory thumb of the Fed. The tax preparation firm is selling its banking unit to Republic Bank.

Two of the market's hottest stocks closed above $900 a share Thursday. Google's (GOOG) stock is at $920 a share; Priceline at $910. Priceline (PCLN) shares have soared more than $100 in less than three weeks.

The brokerage firm Jefferies has lowered its rating on Pfizer (PFE) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to "hold" from "buy."

Carl Icahn is upping the ante in his battle with Dell (DELL). The billionaire investor told Bloomberg he'll raise his offer for the computer maker today, as he tries to pressure Chairman Michael Dell to sweeten his go-private bid.

Sprint Nextel (S) is lowering the cost of its plan for unlimited data, calling and texting to $80 a month -- a savings of $30. Verizon Wireless (VZ, VOD) and AT&T (T) have been trying to limit access to their unlimited plans.

And Aveo Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) is set to tumble. The company says it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission demanding documents related to the company's drug to treat renal cell carcinoma.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

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"Stocks Start from Record Highs; Big-Bank Profits Soar"

Well at least the Wall St "fat cats" and the big banks have prospered under Obama's policies while only 47% of working Americans have full time jobs, and Kelly Services the temporary job outfit is the SECOND largest U.S. employer behind Wal Mart.

Oh and we have a record 48 millions Americans requiring food stamps, and a full one third of Americans requiring assistance from one of the government's FIFTEEN "food assistance" programs.

"I'm Barack Obama and I didn't come here to cater to the Wall St "fat cats!" And ironically enough those hurt most by his disastrous policies are the ones who support him the most. How does that compute!

July 12 2013 at 4:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Big banks are borrowering money at less than one percent and making billions loaning this cheap money out. While in Congress, republicans are blocking attempts to keep studen loan rates low. It appears republicans are more interested in big profits for big business than they are for education for our future leaders. In a republican world......big business is king.

July 12 2013 at 4:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, when their speculative investments go sour again, taxpayers going to bail them out?

July 12 2013 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The biggest lie to Americans by Bernanke is "inflation remains low.

July 12 2013 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So much for a "free" market! Bernanke's manipulation has only benefitted the big banks and the stock market. Bernanke must be able to see this.

July 12 2013 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

BERNANKE YOU'RE KILLING US! Stop the craziness, sinking billions into Wall Street dose not help anyone but those who got us in the mess in the first place. Those who have small savings and cannot risk them in the market, especialy seniors, are lucky to get .05% on ther CD's. Your reasoning that it will creat jobs, hows that working out?

July 12 2013 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kolblh's comment

It's to encourage investment, and keep interest rates low ( as you pointed out) to encourage a nutshell.

July 12 2013 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DRW trading co.

i'll bet these are the same banks we threw billions of taxpayers dollars at. why not tell the people that gave them the money how much they payed back with interest. my guess is they have not payed back a cent. send me billions and i'll have the best year i've ever had. we need to can oh give rich people money bernake's ass and make him responsible for all debts not payed back see how much he gives out then.

July 12 2013 at 3:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to DRW trading co.'s comment

Hey don't have to bet. Just look up who got TARP money and who paid it back, and who paid interest. Or you can just make assertions on a financial blog like an angry boob.

July 12 2013 at 3:10 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment

Angry boobs sounds like a better game than angry birds.


July 12 2013 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

In 2012, the Federal Reserve sent $89 billion in profits to the U.S. treasury, not bad for a federal agency. Also, it was Mr. Bush's treasury secretary that came up with the plan to bail out the banks......did you forget? How much did the Bush wars cost?.......How much?

July 12 2013 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keep shitten on the little guy. Jamie Dimon must wipe is ass with 100 dollar bills. We have to raise collage loans so more people like him could wipe their ass the same way.

July 12 2013 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to MiCkEyY's comment

The paper I wipe with has obama's oicture on it...after I wipe.

July 12 2013 at 3:24 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h.hughjardon's comment


July 12 2013 at 3:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

A transfer of wealth from savers to the banksters penalizing the elderly who saved money in CD IRA accounts, and rewarding the gamblers with free money and a guarantee of too big to fail. The idiot Bernake thinks Wall Street reflects the real economy and that the real role of The Fed is to regulate the economy.

July 12 2013 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to aftonmoon's comment

We can only blame ourselves. Our consumption habits tells these people they can get away with it. Someday the 90% will realize they have the power. If we quit consuming, things might change. A few examples are:

When it comes time to upgrade your cell phone, don't. Tell the salesman you would like to, but you can't with the rising health care costs and the rising gas prices. Better yet, tell him you are going to have to cut back on your plan to pay for the groceries.

Quit going out to dinner.

Don't go to the movies. Play a game with you kids instead; you will have a better experience.

Cut down on your weekly trips in the car as much as possible.

And above all else, take your money out of the big banks and put it into a small regional bank or credit union.

Cut down on the consumption!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't just post. Take a real stand if you are unhappy with the current circumstances. These steps would say more than any vote you could cast because most of the poiliticians seem to be bought and paid for by big business and Wall Street. Things won't change until you do because the 10% believe you won't do anything to effect a change.

July 12 2013 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

big bank profits SICKENING IS THAT

July 12 2013 at 1:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply