Markets Right Now: Banks lead early stock gains

USA stocks gave up a promising start and finished mostly lower Wednesday as investors continued to worry about lagging wages and energy companies dropped with the price of oil.

Investors also kept an eye on France, as the country's presidential election drew closer.

US stock futures were rising Wednesday after earnings from Morgan Stanley (MS) topped analysts' forecasts.

On the flipside, shares of Morgan Stanley rose, trading 2.8 percent stronger as of 1.54pm in NY, as the bank posted stronger-than-expected earnings bolstered by bond trading revenue.

"Crude broke $52 on WTI, that is the strongest correlation we have right now away from the case-by-case earnings we have", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in NY. That continued what's mostly been a strong first quarter for banks and other financial companies. The Dow Jones industrial average also lagged the Nasdaq considerably for a second straight day, falling 0.1%. The FTSE 100 slid 0.4 percent after a 2.5-percent plunge on Tuesday.

U.S. Treasury prices have surrendered part of yesterday's gain, with the benchmark 10-year yield trading 3 bps higher at 2.20%. The 10-year yield fell as low as 2.165 percent on Tuesday; it has tumbled from a high of 2.63 percent reached on March 14.

Schutte said that will ultimately help the stock market more than any of President Donald Trump's proposed pro-growth policies would. A run of disappointing US economic data and doubts the Trump administration will progress with tax cuts have quelled expectations of faster inflation. Its stock jumped $1.77 percent, to 2 percent, to $91.91.

OVERSEAS: British stocks continued to fall.

The greenback was 0.54 percent higher against the yen and up 0.17 percent against the euro. Copper added 1 cent to $2.53 a pound.

The day's gains were broad, with seven of the S&P 500's 11 primary sectors higher on the day.

Technology and consulting company IBM slumped after it reported $18.16 billion in revenue in the first quarter, and according to FactSet, that was more than $200 million below analysts' estimates.

Canada's main stock index fell on Wednesday as sliding oil prices weighed on energy stocks, while solid earnings boosted Rogers Communications Inc.

"Crude broke US$52 on WTI, that is the strongest correlation we have right now away from the case-by-case earnings we have", said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in NY.

"We're off to a good start with earnings, with three-quarters of companies beating expectations, though it's a small data set so far", said Kaufman. "The problem with our impression of the earnings season is we just talk about the bad news".

Financials traded higher earlier in the session after Morgan Stanley posted a strong first-quarter as its fixed-income trading revenue doubled year over year.

Overall profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 10.8% in the quarter - the best since 2011.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index finished down 4.02 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,338.17.

Yahoo (YHOO), which is in the process of selling its core internet business to Verizon (VZ), also reported first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates. Shares moved up 2.8%, but the stock remains well below the 50-day line.

American Express, eBay, Qualcomm and CSX are among the companies scheduled to report after the bell Wednesday.

Advertisment Equities in Toronto found themselves traveling in a negative direction as Wednesday's session ended, as bruises sustained by resources stocks countered advances by health and tech issues.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline fell 5 cents, or 3 percent, to $1.66 a gallon.

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