Hot Stock Minute

Stocks Extend Rally on Hopes of Budget Deal

Hot Stock Minute

Stocks ended the week with gains. The Dow logged another triple-digit gain as lawmakers pressed forward with efforts to reach a short-term agreement to end the fiscal showdown. According to reports, House Republicans extended an offer to raise the debt limit for six weeks and end the government shutdown, which is now in its 11th day. In return GOP officials say they're seeking broader budget talks that would include addressing cuts to Social Security and Medicare. At this point a long-term deal does not seem to be under serious consideration.

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JPMorgan (JPM) ended flat after reporting a quarterly loss due to legal fees. The bank made $1.42 a share on an adjusted basis, but that excluded $9.15 billion in the company's own defense. After rolling in the expenses, JPM lost 17-cents a share for the quarter. Expectations had been for profits of $1.17 a share. JPMorgan has been trying to settle a number of cases with regulators at both the federal and state levels. As for quarterly revenues, they also missed the mark slightly at $23.88-billion versus $23.94-billion.

Wells Fargo (WFC) moved fractionally lower after a mixed earnings report. The mortgage giant made 99-cents a share for the quarter, 2-cents better than estimates. Revenue, however, missed the mark by almost $50-million for a total of $20.48-billion. Wells says its profits are up 13% from a year ago. That's despite a slowdown in the mortgage business due to rising interest rates. The company has been downsizing its staff because of the slowdown.

Micron Technologies (MU) tumbled 8.6% on its earnings which were released after yesterday's closing bell. The chipmaker had a mixed quarter with adjusted earnings of 20-cents a share, missing estimates by a nickel. As for sales, they beat expectations at $2.84-billion versus $2.71-billion. One thing working to Micron's advantage was a fire that forced rival Hynix to suspend its operations. But Wells Fargo downgraded the stock to underperform from market perform.

The Gap (GPS) fell 6.7% after reporting disappointing sales for September. It says the critical same-store sales figure fell 3% when expectations had been for a gain of 1.7%. Even prior to this drop, shares of the gap have been down 11% in the past three months. They're still up 26% year-to date.

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