U.S. equity markets held steady overnight as data showing consumer confidence at a four-year high competed with the fallout from JPMorgan Chase's (NYSE:JPM) $2 billion trading loss.
By the close, the Dow Jones was 34 points weaker at 12,821, with the NASDAQ unchanged at 2934. In Europe, Greek politicians are still attempting to form a coalition government, throwing its European bailout into uncertainty.
Spain, meanwhile, announced Friday plans for banks to set aside another 30 billion euros in reserves to offset potential real estate loan losses, with the government to hire independent auditors to review Spanish banking assets. The reforms come just days after the country part-nationalized one of its largest banks.
In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase said late Thursday that a $2 billion trading loss will impact its second-quarter earnings.
Shares tumbled more than 9% on the news.
The bank's chief executive Jamie Dimon cited "errors" and "bad judgment" in trades meant to hedge risk and said the losses could deepen this quarter and beyond.
JPMorgan now expects to lose $800 million within the corporate/private equity segment, down from prior guidance of net income of $200 million.
Graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ:NVDA) reported a sharp drop in fiscal first-quarter profit and sales, but it forecasted second-quarter revenue ahead of analyst estimates. Shares of the company rallied.
Meanwhile, Sony (NYSE:SNE) shares tumbled more than 7% in the US as it reported lower earnings after the close of the market in Tokyo on Thursday.
Electronics giant Panasonic (NYSE:PC) has posted the largest annual loss in its history as sales of televisions, plasma screens and mobile phones stalled and restructuring costs soared.
For the year to March, sales dropped by 10 per cent to Y7,846 billion, while net losses soared to Y772 billion (US$9.7 billion) after restructuring costs of Y767 billion.
High-end retailer Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) said Thursday late afternoon that first quarter earnings rose 2.8 percent, missing expectations, as free shipping initiatives ate into margins.
For the period that ended April 28, Nordstrom reported net income of $149 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, in comparison to last year’s earnings of $145 million, or 65 cents per diluted share.
The latest results are five cents below the projected earnings polled by Thomson Reuters.
On the economic front, the preliminary reading of the University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment index climbed to 77.8 in May, up from 76.4 in April and above the 76.0 expected in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll.
Wholesale prices were down 0.2% in April on lower energy prices, according to the Labor Department's producer price index.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected prices to be unchanged from March. However, excluding volatile food and energy prices, core wholesale prices were up 0.2%, matching forecasts.
On the NYMEX, crude for June delivery lost $1.40 to $95.68 a barrel while gold futures for June delivery tumbled $14.10 to $1,581.40 an ounce.
European stocks were mixed with the FTSE 100 rising 0.6%, the DAX adding 0.9% but the CAC 40 shedding 0.2%.
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