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US STOCKS-Wall Street ends mixed despite bumper big-bank earnings

Published 2021/04/14, 22:30
Updated 2021/04/14, 22:36
© Reuters.

* Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) up as profits jumps

* JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) falls despite profit surging nearly five-fold

* Coinbase soars on Nasdaq listing

* Indexes: S&P down 0.41%, Dow up 0.16%, Nasdaq down 0.99% (Updates to market close)

By Shivani Kumaresan, Shreyashi Sanyal and David French

April 14 (Reuters) - Wall Street indexes closed mixed on Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC and S&P 500 .SPX falling despite another record intraday high for the latter and big banks' stellar results on the first day of earnings season.

Shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) GS.N and Wells Fargo & Co WFC.N rose 2.3% and 5.5% respectively on bumper first-quarter profits.

Goldman capitalized on record levels of global dealmaking activity, and Wells reduced bad loan provisions and got a grip on costs tied to its sales practices scandal. Chase & Co's JPM.N shares fell 1.9% despite the largest U.S. bank's earnings jumping almost 400%, as it released more than $5 billion in reserves to cover coronavirus-driven loan defaults. bank earnings were strong, but the market expected them to be strong," said Christopher Grisanti, chief equity strategist at MAI Capital Management.

"So the question becomes how do the bank stocks rise more from here. That's not clear. They have had a nice ride. I think there will be other places to make money more easily in the future."

Despite bumper trading and investment-banking revenue, lending by both JP Morgan and Wells Fargo fell from a year ago. Investors will be watching this metric carefully in the upcoming earnings of smaller banks, which are more focused on traditional lending and deposit-taking.

The KBW Regional Banking Index .KRX has outperformed the KBW Bank Index .BKX year to date, although the latter - which represents 24 of the largest U.S. banks - has beaten the index of smaller institutions over the last month.

"Financials have done well for a while, so we're happy with that now, but will we reach a point of diminishing returns in that sector? I don't know," said Drew Horter, president and chief investment officer of Tactical Fund Advisors in Cincinnati.

The S&P 500 financials sector .SPSY was one of the first quarter's best performers, rising 15% even as the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates low in the near future. It rose 0.7% on Wednesday.

The S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY was the largest gainer among the 11 sub-indexes, advancing 2.9% as it tracked higher oil prices. O/R

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 53.62 points, or 0.16%, to 33,730.89; and the S&P 500 .SPX lost 16.93 points, or 0.41%, at 4,124.66.

The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 138.26 points, or 0.99%, to 13,857.84, weighed by technology-related stocks including Apple Inc AAPL.O , Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Tesla Inc TSLA.O .

Coinbase Global Inc COIN.O jumped upon its listing on the Nasdaq on Wednesday, at one point hitting $429.54 per share versus a reference price of $250. The cryptocurrency exchange closed at $328.28. and blockchain-related firms including Riot Blockchain RIOT.O and Marathon Digital Holdings MARA.O fell 15.4% and 15.8% respectively, after soaring ahead of Coinbase's debut and as bitcoin hit a record high of over $63,000 on Tuesday. on U.S. exchanges was 9.50 billion shares, compared with the 11.27 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.45-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.22-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 68 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 96 new highs and 32 new lows.

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