Markets appear to be taking a breather as earnings reports begin to filter in. The Dow closed the day lower on heavy volume at 27,335 down 23 points. Tech executives were on Capitol Hill testifying about peanuts and popcorn and all things unicorn.
JP Morgan Chase reported better than expect numbers this morning and on the call CEO Jamie Dimon commented that consumer activity is robust. JP reported a 10% revenue increase and a 23% jump in profits. Consumer/community banking was up 11%, merchant card services and credit card loans were up 8% and deposits rose 3% to over $1.5 trillion smackers. Mobile banking grew 12%. Trading volumes were off a bit and shares were down slightly on the report. Last month JP Morgan announced a 13% dividend increase and a $29 billion stock buyback plan.
Retail sales were reported today for June and they were much better than expected. The street had been looking for an increase of 0.1% but the actual result was 0.4%. Strength was seen in online sales, auto and restaurants/bars. Online sales were up over 13% and now make up 12.5% of all retail sales which is a record level. Weakness was seen in gas station sales, but this was due to lower gas prices. This data points to a GDP growth rate of between 1.5% and 2% for the quarter and brings into question the need for an interest rate cut.
Trucking company JB Hunt reported lower than expected earnings as the company posted a 6% revenue gain and a 10% drop in profits. CEO Terrance “Last Mile” Matthews said the lower profit level was due to higher driver wages, investments in last mile services and insurance costs but even with all that he expects volumes to pick up in the second half of the year. Shares jumped on the report.