Posted: Oct 12, 2012 9:07 AM by KPAX News Staff
Updated: Oct 12, 2012 8:58 AM
JP Morgan and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Friday. Overall, analysts predict profits at the nation's biggest banks rose 19% last quarter. Despite the rise in profits, analysts believe more layoffs in the financial industry will be announced this year as banks continue to look for ways to cut costs. Meanwhile, a major computer chipmaker is sounding a sales warning. Advanced Micro Device cut its sales outlook and blames what it calls the challenging economic environment.
Stocks initially rallied Thursday on a report that applications for unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low. But worries about the global economy overshadowed that good news. The U.S. trade deficit grew in August, Greece reported another jump in unemployment and Spain suffered another ratings cut. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 18 points while the NASDAQ dipped two points.
The price of corn jumped 5% on word that global inventories will fall more than expected this year. That's because the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years has cut corn output by the most in 15 years.
Mortgages rates ticked up from record lows last week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on the 30 year loan rose to 3.39% from 3.36%, while the average rate on the 15 year loan edged up to 2.70%.