Stress in banking sector eases and earnings beat expectations


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Last Week’s Highlights

US banks beat Wall Street expectations

US banking giants released their results for the first quarter of the year. These entities posted unexpected gains, coming from higher interest payments in the first quarter, averting a crisis caused by the collapse of two regional lenders. Despite seeing signs of a slowdown, companies such as JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, and Wells Fargo & Co beat Wall Street expectations because consumer and other company spending held up. Because of the US Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes to control inflation, there are fears of an economic slowdown, so banks are stockpiling contingency funds.

BlackRock to seize opportunity for growth

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm, sees a growth opportunity in the face of the recent downturn in the banking sector. The firm expects to expand its business as investors vary their allocations to avoid sharp market swings and benefit from a higher interest rate environment. Despite the company’s 18% decline in first-quarter profit on Friday, BlackRock beat specialist expectations as investors continued to add money to its funds. The company closed the first quarter with $9.1 billion in assets under management, down from $9.57 billion a year earlier; however, it was up from $8.59 billion in the fourth quarter. In addition, net income totaled $110 billion, up from $86 billion a year earlier.

Coming Up This Week

Boeing dips on halted deliveries

Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, closed Friday’s session with a 5.6% drop in its shares as it halted deliveries of some 737 MAX aircraft. The company has had some problems regarding the quality of certain components manufactured by one of its main suppliers. Some analysts claim that this pause in deliveries could delay plans to increase production, as it needs to carry out inspections of the affected aircraft. The problem is linked to the installation of two fittings that attach the aft fuselage manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems to the vertical tail. They were not properly attached to the fuselage structure prior to shipment to Boeing.

Lucid’s production and deliveries fall

Hand-in-hand with its weak full-year production forecast, Lucid Group Inc announced last Thursday lower first-quarter production and deliveries figures than in the previous three months. Its electric car production was 2,314 vehicles, with deliveries of 1,406 in the quarter that ended March 31. These figures are below the 3,493 vehicles produced and 1,932 delivered in the December quarter. The company, which faces supply chain and logistics issues, was hit by steep price cuts triggered by Tesla. This caused consumers to shy away from purchasing its luxury cars amid rising interest rates and high inflation. Lucid shares were down 3% and it announced that it would report its quarterly results on May 8.

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Market News

Wall Street closed the week down as its main indexes were affected because investors’ enthusiasm was curbed. US banks started with the presentation of their first quarter reports and the vast majority posted good results. As a result, a mixed bag of economic data confirmed that there will be another interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

All three major indices ended Friday’s trading day with negative figures. The Dow Jones declined 143.22 points, or 0.42%, to 33,886.47, the S&P 500 fell 8.58 points, or 0.21%, to 4,137.64 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 42.81 points, or 0.35%, to 12,123.47.

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