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Wall St eyes lower open after bank results; Tesla slumps


Traders work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 5, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Wall Street’s main indexes were poised to open lower on Friday as remarks from major U.S. bank executives deepened concerns about the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening impacting economic growth, while Tesla slumped on news of price cuts.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) set aside $1.4 billion in anticipation of a mild recession, even as it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. The bank’s shares were down 2.9% in premarket trading.

JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said consumers were still spending excess cash and businesses remained healthy, but he listed a number of uncertainties facing the economy including geopolitical tensions and sticky inflation.

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, with CEO Brian Moynihan also acknowledging an “increasingly slowing economic environment”. Its shares fell 2.5%.

“Some of the comments about fears of a recession and (the banks) trying to continue to fortify their balance sheet against loan losses have more people nervous,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“Earnings as a whole were pretty good, banks remain extremely well capitalized.”

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) also set aside large provisions to prepare for a tougher economy, sending their shares down 3.9% and 2.8%, respectively.

Earnings from big banks were viewed as a major test of the strength of corporate America against the backdrop of sharp interest rate hikes from the Fed to curb stubbornly high inflation.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) fell 6% after slashing prices on its electric vehicles in the United States and Europe by as much as 20% after missing 2022 deliveries estimates.

Wall Street’s main indexes gained on Thursday after consumer prices fell for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years last month, fueling hopes for a sustained downward trend in inflation that could give the Fed room to scale down the size of its rate hikes.

Money market participants see a 90.6% chance the U.S. central bank will hike the benchmark rate by 25 basis points in February, but see the terminal rate at 4.9% by June after the December inflation print.

Hopes of a less hawkish monetary policy stance by the Fed have supported equities in 2023, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq (.IXIC) and the benchmark S&P 500 (.SPX) on track for their best weekly performance since November 2022.

Investors will also closely monitor University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment survey for January, while tracking comments from Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari to assess the strength of the U.S. economy.

At 8:11 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 268 points, or 0.78%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 37.25 points, or 0.93%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 127 points, or 1.10%.

Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N) fell 5.3% as the company forecast first-quarter profit below expectations on higher operating costs.

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