Stock Indices Mixed in US as Bank Earnings Indicate Weak Fixed Income Trading

The benchmark US indices were mixed on Thursday as the initial quarterly earnings reports from the country’s top banks failed to fuel buying across the broader market.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Citigroup (C), the first and fourth largest US banks by assets, posted better than expected third quarter earnings but both saw a decline in revenues from fixed income market activity. Citigroup fell 1.6% in midday trading and JPMorgan was last down 0.3%. The financials group was down 0.4% on the Standard & Poor’s 500.

Across the S&P 500, cosmetic and beauty products retail chain Ulta Beauty (ULTA) posted the biggest drop at 6.5% after Cleveland Research downgraded the shares to neutral from buy. Technology company Juniper Networks (JNPR), down 5.2% after saying late Wednesday it’s expecting third quarter revenue and earnings to come in below its guidance and the Wall Street consensus.

Stocks helping offset losses in the wider indices were DXC Technology (DXC), which rose 4.2% after saying it plans to combine its US Public Sector business with Vencore and KeyPoint Government Solutions to form a separate firm. Fastenal (FAST), the largest fastener distributor in the USA, was up 3%.

In economic news the final headline producer price index climbed 0.4% in September, matching estimates on Econoday and faster than the month earlier 0.2%. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index increased 2.6% for the 12 months ended in September, the largest rise since 2.8% in February 2012.

In midday trading, the Nasdaq was up about 0.1%, the S&P 500 was down 0.1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed.

Globally, FTSE 100 was up 0.3%, the Nikkei finished 0.4% higher, the Hang Seng climbed 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.1%.

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