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Pre-Market: JPMorgan to Pay Half of 2012 Profit in Settlement; Halliburton Suffers Due to Fracking


Bank of America is also facing a major fine.

US stock indexes are set to rise today as investors await earnings from major corporations and a bevy of delayed economic reports.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), the largest US bank, has agreed to pay a record $13 billion to settle several civil suits that charge that it misled investors on the safety of mortgage bonds, including $4 billion for consumer relief. This would set the record for the largest settlement by a bank in history, and top more than half of JPMorgan's profit last year. But this massive payout still won't absolve the bank of a criminal investigation. Shares of the bank were down just 0.42% in pre-market trading.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is also seeking a $6 billion fine against Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) for breaking the law by unloading toxic mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) shares fell 1% this morning after the oil field services company announced that third-quarter profit rose 17% to $0.83 per share, beating expectations by a penny. In the earnings call CEO Dave Lesar said that "United States land rig count, however, remains sluggish. Additionally, oversupply of service capacity in North America continues to put pressure on pricing in a number of areas." Oil production in North America has been soft as cheap natural gas from hydraulic fracturing leads to scaling back drilling.

McDonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) said that third-quarter profit rose 5% year-over-year to $1.52 per share, beating expectations. Revenue of $7.32 billion disappointed slightly. Shares fell 1.9% as CEO Don Thompson said that he expects conditions to flatline over the rest of the current quarter.

US stock index futures rose were a tad higher this morning. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.03% at 15,320.00. Futures on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 0.06% to 1,737.60 and Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.22% to 3,349.50.

Later this morning, we will see a report on existing home sales. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales is expected to come in at 5.3 million homes in September.

Japanese stocks were up slightly today despite disappointing export data. Japan's trade surplus narrowed by 28.2 billion yen to 932.1 billion yen as imports rose faster than exports. Weaker demand in Asia caused annual export growth to slow to 11.5% in September from 14.7% in August, missing expectations. Import growth also disappointed at 16.5% year-over-year growth.

Oil prices dipped below $100/barrel for the first time since July, when tensions over Syria caused the price to rise. WTI crude futures were down 0.97% today to $99.83/barrel.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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