Stocks ticked up Wednesday morning as a host of major banks released a mixed set of quarterly results.
Dow component Goldman Sachs (GS) on Wednesday reported third-quarter results that well exceeded consensus estimates, as investment banking and fixed income trading revenue each grew over last year and topped expectations. The trading boost Goldman Sachs and other banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup but it did not extend to Bank of America (BAC), which posted lighter-than-expected trading revenue from stocks and bonds, and a miss on overall revenue compared to estimates. Bank of America also built its credit reserves during the quarter, adding more padding in case of potential customer loan defaults amid the pandemic.
At Wells Fargo (WFC), the company swung back to a quarterly profit in the third quarter after a loss in the second, though income missed expectations and was pressured by low rates, and activity overall remained low as both loans and deposits declined.
Meanwhile, lackluster prospects for more stimulus and concerns over the timeline for developing a COVID-19 vaccine and treatment weighed on investors. Each of the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq declined for the first time in five sessions as of Tuesday’s close.
An impasse among U.S. lawmakers in Washington has kept hopes running low that more virus relief aid will come to fruition before the November election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he will have the Senate take up relief legislation after the chamber’s return on Monday, with his narrower proposal set to include funds chiefly targeted to the Paycheck Protection Program. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, however, has rejected slimmed-down stimulus proposals and deemed them inadequate, and even President Donald Trump said on Tuesday on Twitter to “Go big or go home!!!” for more stimulus.
Meanwhile, a pair of front-runners