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Pre-Market Primer: JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo Both Beat the Street


Bank earnings point to a continued housing recovery.

Stocks were up only slightly this morning after earnings from major US lenders beat expectations.

Investors closely watch financial stocks as their fortunes are tied closely to economic growth and business investment. Earnings statements from two financial giants today both exceeded estimates and pointed to recovery in the housing market.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) reported this morning that second quarter profit rose to $1.60 per share, a 31% increase from $1.21 per share a year ago. Revenue was $25.2 billion. These results handily beat analyst estimates of $1.44 per share. The largest bank by assets in America originated 12% more mortgages than in the previous quarter. CEO Jamie Dimon said that "loan growth across the industry continued to be soft, reflecting a cautious stance by consumers, many small businesses, and corporations."

Despite the earnings beat, shares of JPMorgan are flat in pre-market trading.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), the biggest mortgage lender in the country, beat expectations by $0.04 with $0.98 per share, up 19% from $0.82 per share a year ago. Mortgage originations rose to $112 billion from $109 billion in the first quarter. Loan losses also decreased. Wells Fargo shares are up 1.5% ahead of the bell.

Microsoft (NYSE:MSFT) restructured its corporate organization yesterday. In a memo to staff, CEO Steve Ballmer said that the changes will foster collaboration. Ballmer essentially got rid of the divisional hierarchy at the company. The head of Windows Phone, Terry Myerson, will oversee Windows and the Xbox operating system as well. Notably, the former Xbox division head jumped ship for Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) last week.

After the three major indices gained more than 1% yesterday, US stock futures are only higher this morning. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures are up 0.03% to 15,397 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) rose 1.03% to 1,665.50 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.95% to 3,024.75. Gold also rallied 2.73%

Today, the government said that producer prices rose 0.8% in June. Later this morning, the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey for July is expected to stay steady from last month's 84.1 level.

Overseas markets were mixed overnight. Mainland Chinese stocks dove after finance minister Lou Jiwei said that China could tolerate GDP growth as slow as 6.5% rather than the official target of 7.5%. He did confirm however, that the expected growth rate for 2013 is still 7%.

European shares were higher today despite a report showing that eurozone industrial production fell 0.3% on a monthly basis in May.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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