Don't get too excited by my headline...JPMorgan ($JPM) shares have already priced in a beat and the return of a real dividend. As far as Intel ($INTC), they could cure cancer this afternoon and the stock would still be magnetically drawn to 20 bucks a share (thanks to the magic of endless multiple compression).
Before the opening bell, JPMorgan Chase reported a 47% jump in fourth-quarter earnings to $4.8 billion, or $1.12 per share. That beat the 99 cents per share forecast by analysts. But JPMorgan's stock edged lower in premarket trading.
After the market close Thursday, Intel. reported the best fourth-quarter earnings in company history -- both the chipmaker's revenue and profit set new records. Shares of the chipmaker were up about 1% in premarket trading.
These two earnings calls are very important in terms of setting the tone for an earnings season in which analysts are looking for a 27% jump in S&P 500 profits. They also represent two key sectors - the financials and the techs - sectors we need strong to maintain the gains of the fourth quarter.
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