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JPM & WFC Both Beat Estimates; Markets Aim for Another Record Close

JPMorgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) both beat estimates this morning with release of their quarterly earnings. JPMorgan results came out at 7am, showing the powerhouse posting $1.60 a share when estimates were for $1.44 on nearly $26-billion dollars in revenue up from $24.84-billion. As for Wells Fargo, its beat was a bit narrower. 98-cents versus expectations for 93-cents. These numbers were just released at 8. They show revenue was $21.4-billion when consensus was for $21.22-billion. Yahoo! Finance Senior Columnist Mike Santoli has more on both earnings reports in the video above.

By the way futures have been slightly higher this morning, even as stocks come off a record-high close. Both the Dow and the S&P ended yesterday's session at all-time highs with the Dow up almost 170-points to 15,460. The NASDAQ also set a 13-year high-- the climbing coming in response to Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's dovish comments on quantitative easing.

Carl Icahn is hoping persistence will pay off. The activist investor is now making his fourth bid for Dell DELL, just six days before a vote is to take place on the company's fate. Icahn's latest plan would give shareholders two options. The first would be to take $14 a share. Or alternatively, people could keep their existing stake in a publicly traded portion of the company. Icahn says he'll also add a warrant to the $14 offer that shareholders could exchange for additional stock should Dell climb to around $20. Icahn has been trying to trump an offer put forth by company founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management. That plan would give people $13.65 a share ,which would value the company at $24.4 billion.

STOCKS TO WATCH

In addition to JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, Connecticut-based Webster Financial (WBS) reported earnings this morning. The company matched on earnings with 48-cents a share, and just missed on revenue with about $147-million. Webster Financial has a market cap of about $2.4 billion. Just yesterday it was downgraded to neutral from buy at Sterne Agee. Webster Financial is up 24% year-to-date.

Aveo Pharmaceuticals (AVEO) has been down more than 11% since yesterday's close here on the NASDAQ. This is a Massachusetts-based company that specializes in developing cancer drugs. Aveo has disclosed that it received a subpoena from the SEC earlier this month requesting information about one of its treatments for kidney cancer. Prior to the drop we're seeing this morning shares were down 69% year-to-date. Many of the losses came at the end of April when the FDA said the same drug needed more testing.

Microsoft (MSFT) has been down fractionally in early trading. Shares climbed almost 3% yesterday after CEO Steve Ballmer unveiled a new structure for the company. The "pros" of the reboot according to Ballmer include improving internal collaboration. He says the change will also eliminate redundancies. But critics fear the changes will also mean less leeway for Microsoft's individual businesses. The new corporate structure also confuses plans for a successor to Ballmer as CEO. Despite all the hand-wringing about Microsoft and its ability to remain relevant, the stock is up more than 29% year-to-date.

Spreadtrum (SPRD) is up 14% in early trading after accepting a takeover bid. Spreadtrum is a Chinese chipmaker but trades here under the symbol SPRD. It's taking a $1.5 to $1.8 billion buyout offer from China's Tsinghua. That's a follow-up bid, up from a previous proposal of $1.4 billion and as much as a 28% premium on yesterday's share price. Spreadtrum has already been up 46% year-to-date, largely on that prior offer which Tsinghua submitted last month.

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