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Stocks start flat; J.P. Morgan launches earnings season with a bang

|By: , SA News Editor

The stock market opens with little change, as investors parse earnings reports from several major financial firms; Dow +0.1%, S&P -0.1%, Nasdaq -0.2%.

J.P. Morgan Chase (+2%) kicked off earnings season with strong results, routing analyst estimates for Q4 earnings and revenues amid a strong rebound in bond trading revenue, while Citigroup's (+1.8%) Q4 also topped expectations; Wells Fargo (-3.7%) delivered disappointing results, however.

China's exports rose at the slowest pace in three years, adding to concerns about a wider global slowdown, but its foreign trade revived in December as hopes rose for a trade deal with the U.S.

Major European markets also trade near their flatlines, with U.K.'s FTSE +0.1%, Germany's DAX flat and France's CAC -0.1%; in Asia, Japan's Nikkei +0.7% but China's Shanghai Composite -0.3%.

In the U.S., financials (+0.2%) and utilities (+0.2%) are the only S&P sectors currently trading in positive territory, while energy (-0.4%) and real estate (-0.4%) are early laggards.

U.S. Treasury prices edge higher, pushing the two-year yield down a basis point to 1.57% and the 10-year yield down 2 bps to 1.83%; U.S. Dollar Index +0.2% to 97.49.

WTI crude oil +0.6% to $58.46/bbl.

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