A relief rally is underway on Wall Street. Stocks (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) are sharply higher across the board following the worst two-week start to the year ever. Investors are sifting through a pile of not too shabby earnings from some big name companies and applauding a more than 3% jump in Chinese stocks (000001.SS) overnight on hopes of more stimulus from Beijing following data the economy there grew at its slowest pace in a quarter of century.
However, oil prices (CLG16.NYM) are having a hard time holding on to gains, now dipping back below $30 a barrel.
Earnings in focus
Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings per share that topped analysts' estimates by two pennies, but revenue slightly missed forecasts. Profits got a boost from lower expenses and continued improvement in its consumer banking division, but sales were pressured by a tough trading environment.
Morgan Stanley (MS) swung back to a profit in the fourth quarter. Revenue also came in better-than-expected, as it benefited from lower legal costs and gains in its investment banking and equities divisions.
UnitedHealth (UNH) posted a beat on both its top and bottom lines for the fourth quarter. Revenue jumped 30% from a year earlier thanks to strength in its pharmacy benefit management business. However, profit fell 19% as it struggled with losses related to Obamacare.
Tiffany (TIF) cut its outlook for the year after a drop in holiday sales. The company citing weak tourist spending in a number of markets and a strong U.S. dollar.
Netflix (NFLX) is set to report fourth quarter earnings after the bell today. The street is expecting earnings of $0.02 per share on revenue of $1.83 billion.
Twitter (TWTR) suffered a temporary outage this morning, with website visitors worldwide receiving a message telling them that "something is technically wrong." The service is back online after being down for almost 2 hours.