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U.S. STOCKS ON TRACK TO SET NEW CLOSING RECORDS

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DAILY MARKET REPORTS

  • Bank earnings in focus. Euro jumps on German coalition-government deal.
  • JPMorgan Chase reported lower-than-expected profits because of the one-time changes from the recently passed tax overhaul.
  • Wells Fargo’s net income came in below analysts’ expectations.
  • Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to increase on an average by 11.8 percent in the quarter with profit for financial services companies growing as much.
  • Facebook’s shares were down after the company started changing the way it filters posts and videos on News Feed.
  • CPI rose 0.3 percent last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast core CPI rising 0.2 percent.
  • Core CPI increased 1.8 percent in the 12 months through December, picking up from 1.7 percent in November.
  • The euro jumped 0.8% against the dollar on news of a breakthrough in Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a coalition government, moving closer to resolving a monthlong deadlock.

US FINANCIAL MARKET

JPMorgan’s Profit Hurt by Tax Law

  • The biggest U.S. bank by assets reported net income of $4.23 billion.
  • Revenues were $24.15 billion, up 3% from the year-earlier period.
  • Its trading revenue decreased 34% to $3.37 billion from $4.52 billion a year earlier.
  • JPMorgan extended $24.4 billion in mortgages in the quarter, a decrease of 16% from the fourth quarter a year ago.
  • JPMorgan set aside $1.35 billion in the fourth quarter to cover loans that could potentially turn bad in the future.

Wells Fargo quarterly profit rises on one-time tax benefit

  • The quarter included a $3.35 billion one-time after-tax boost from writing down its deferred tax liabilities to reflect the new U.S. corporate tax rates.
  • Wells Fargo posted an 18 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit, driven by a one-time tax benefit related to President Donald Trump’s new tax laws.
  • Net income rose to $5.74 billion in the quarter from $4.87 billion a year ago.
  • Overall revenue rose 2% to $22.1 billion. Total loans shrank 1.1% from a year earlier to $956.8 billion because of declines in car loans as well as residential and commercial real-estate loans.

BlackRock Beats Estimates, Continues to See Interest in iShares ETFs

  • BlackRock, which managed $6.29 trillion in assets as of the end of the fourth quarter, reported $2.3 billion in profits.
  • Earnings on an adjusted basis were $1.02 billion up 20% from $852 million for the same period a year prior.
  • Net flows from iShares ETFs were $54.8 billion in the fourth quarter. Total net flows during the quarter were $102.93 billion.
  • BlackRock said it had record net inflows for the year of $367 billion.

PNC Profit Boosted by Tax Law

  • Revenue at PNC was up 10% from a year ago to $4.26 billion, beating expectations.
  • Profit at the Pittsburgh-based bank rose to $2.08 billion, from $1.03 billion a year ago.
  • Average total loans grew 5% from a year ago to $221.12 billion, fueled by growth in commercial lending. Consumer Loans were down from a year ago.

Facebook to Overhaul How It Presents News in Feed

  • Under planned changes announced Thursday, Facebook will favor posts, photos and videos in the news feed that are shared and discussed among users and their friends over those posted by businesses and news organizations—a likely blow to companies that rely on Facebook to reach customers.
  • Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday called the initial move “a major change in how we build Facebook” that would decrease how much time users spend on the platform and hurt publisher traffic, but ultimately make users happier and boost Facebook’s business.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Grant $33 Million in College Scholarships for DACA Students

  • Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is granting $33 million in college scholarships for undocumented immigrant high-school graduates in the U.S., according to TheDream.Us.
  • The grant, made by Mr. Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, will fund 1,000 scholarships for students with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status, the group said in a press release.
  • Nearly 3,000 students currently are part of the group’s program.

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US ECONOMY & POLITIC

U.S. Retail Sales Increased 0.4% in December

  • Spending at U.S. retailers rose in December for the fourth consecutive month, capping the strongest year for sales growth since 2014.
  • Retail sales—a measure of consumer spending at stores, restaurants and websites—increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in December from the prior month, the Commerce Department said.
  • Excluding autos, an often-volatile category, sales were up 0.4% last month.
  • Total retail sales grew 4.2% in 2017, following annual increases of 3.2% in 2016, 2.6% in 2015 and 4.3% in 2014.
  • Sales at non-store retailers, mostly online-shopping outlets, were up 1.2% from November and rose 12.7% on the year.

U.S. Consumer Prices Rose 0.1% in December

  • The consumer-price index, which measures changes in the prices Americans pay for everything from breakfast sausage to doctor visits, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in December from the prior month.
  • But prices rose 0.3% in December when excluding the often-volatile categories of food and energy, the largest increase for so-called core prices since January 2017.
  • Overall prices climbed 2.1% in December compared with a year earlier, easing a bit from November’s 2.2% annual gain.
  • Prices excluding food and energy were up 1.8% from the end of 2016, firming slightly from the prior month’s annual increase.

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US ECONOMY & POLITIC

China Reports Biggest-Ever Annual Trade Surplus With U.S.

  • China reported its largest-ever annual trade surplus with the U.S. last year while its overall imbalance with the world shrank
  • Rising American demand, in particular, pushed up Chinese shipments, expanding China’s trade surplus in goods with the U.S. by 10% to $275.8 billion in 2017, according to Chinese customs data.

BMW hits 2017 sales record but Mercedes keeps lead

  • BMW reported record sales last year on strong demand for its sport-utility vehicles and the overhauled 1-Series compact but was outsold by Mercedes-Benz, keeping the order in the three-way German luxury sales race unchanged.
  • Sales of BMW brand models rose 4.2 percent in 2017 to 2.09 million passenger cars and SUVs, the Munich-based carmaker said on Friday, compared with a 9.9 percent gain to 2.29 million at Mercedes.

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EUROPE & WORLD

China Reports Biggest-Ever Annual Trade Surplus With U.S.

  • China reported its largest-ever annual trade surplus with the U.S. last year while its overall imbalance with the world shrank
  • Rising American demand, in particular, pushed up Chinese shipments, expanding China’s trade surplus in goods with the U.S. by 10% to $275.8 billion in 2017, according to Chinese customs data.

BMW hits 2017 sales record but Mercedes keeps lead

  • BMW reported record sales last year on strong demand for its sport-utility vehicles and the overhauled 1-Series compact but was outsold by Mercedes-Benz, keeping the order in the three-way German luxury sales race unchanged.
  • Sales of BMW brand models rose 4.2 percent in 2017 to 2.09 million passenger cars and SUVs, the Munich-based carmaker said on Friday, compared with a 9.9 percent gain to 2.29 million at Mercedes.

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TODAY in HISTORY

  • The first public museum in the U.S. was established in Charleston, S.C. (1773)
  • L. Smith took the first X-ray photograph (1896)
  • Nineteen European countries signed an agreement banning human cloning (1998)

This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S&P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly. Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal.

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