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Morning Futures Briefing
with Stephanie Lewicky

Biden Calls for $1.9 Trillion More in Pandemic Aid; Big Banks Kick off Earnings Season

U.S. stock futures are lower this morning as investors are shrugging off President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. In stock news, U.S. earnings season has kicked off with results from JPMorgan, PNC Financial, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo. U.S. President-elect Joe Biden released details of a $1.9T COVID-19 relief package designed to support households and businesses. The proposal, known as the American Rescue Plan, includes:

  • Direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans
  • Increasing the federal unemployment benefit to $400 per week and extending it through the end of September
  • Boosting the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September
  • $350B in state and local government assistance
  • $170B for K-12 schools and higher education institutions
  • $50B towards COVID-19 testing
  • $20B towards a national vaccine program in partnership with states, localities, and tribes
  • Making the Child Tax Credit fully refundable for the year and increasing the credit to $3,000 per child

JPMorgan Chase beat analysts’ estimates for fourth-quarter profit on better-than-expected trading results and a boost from releasing money previously set aside for loan losses. The company posted earnings (adjusted) of $3.79 a share, exceeding the $2.62 per share estimate of analysts, and generated $29.20 billion in revenue (adjusted)exceeding the $28.7 billion estimate.  “While positive vaccine and stimulus developments contributed to these reserve releases this quarter, our credit reserves of over $30 billion continue to reflect significant near-term economic uncertainty and will allow us to withstand an economic environment far worse than the current base forecasts by most economists,” Dimon said in a statement. PNC Financial also beat expectations on Friday with fourth-quarter EPS of $3.26 on revenue of $4.21 billion, compared to forecast for EPS of $2.59 on revenue of $4.13 billion.  Citigroup reported quarterly earnings of $2.08 per share which beat the analyst consensus estimate of $1.34. This is a 9.47 percent increase over earnings of $1.90 per share from the same period last year. The company reported quarterly sales of $16.50 billion which missed the analyst consensus estimate of $16.71 billion. This is a 10.22 percent decrease over sales of $18.38 billion the same period last year. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo slumped 2.5% in premarket trading Friday, after the bank reported a fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations for the first time in six quarters, but revenue that fell more than forecast as lower interest rates weighed on net interest income.

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