Stocks were mostly higher after somewhat encouraging earnings. But the oil markets continued their downward fall. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Strong quarterly earnings helped break the downward trend in stocks - the Dow only modestly lower - and gains in both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500. Boosting that index: Citigroup. The bank's profit beat analysts' expectations. To further boost profitability, it said it would close consumer banking operations in 11 markets. Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo fell, however. JPMorgan got back into the black, but its profit fell shy of estimates. Wells Fargo's profit was in line. Both banks suffered steep declines in mortgage originations. FBR analyst Paul Miller: SOUNDBITE: PAUL MILLER, ANALYST, FBR CAPITAL MARKETS, SPEAKING (ENGLISH): "Now, everybody's got into weaker mortgage banking income in the fourth and first quarters, as we get more seasonality thing there, so they have to overcome that going into fourth and first quarters, and that's probably why the stock is lagging today." Another brutal day for the oil markets - Crude oil having its worst one-day plummet in 2 years - down more than 4 percent - global demand continues to fall. Investors hungered for shares of Domino's Pizza. The restaurant chain's profit rose more than 16 percent. No domino effect here. It's seeing strong U.S. demand as sales declined at its archrival, Yum Brands' Pizza Hut unit. Intel earnings came in just barely ahead of forecasts. The chipmaker says the worldwide PC supply chain appears to be healthy. Chipmaker Skyworks Solutions helped push the Nasdaq north after it hiked its outlook for profit and revenue. Investors played it both ways, buying up bonds, too. That sent the yield on the 10-year Treasury to its lowest level in 16 months and the 30-year yield below 3 percent. Investors sought U.S. bonds as a safe haven amid anxiety over global economic growth. Across the pond, European shares initially fell on weak German data. But the positive results from Citibank sparked buying, leading to a reversal.