Stocks Open Steady, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Profits Surge

U.S. stocks opened little changed on Friday, a day after ending at record heights, as Wall Street looked to consumer- confidence data and considered bank earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately added 12.48 points, or 0.08%, to 15,473.40. The S&P 500 index was up0.42 point, or 0.03%, to 1,675.44. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4.24 points, or 0.12%, to 3,582.54.

Wells Fargo, the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, reported a 20% rise in second-quarter profit on Friday as it set aside less money to cover bad loans. The fourth-biggest U.S. bank’s net income applicable to common stockholders rose to $5.27 billion, or 98 cents per share, in the second quarter from $4.40 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.

JPMorgan Chase, the country’s biggest bank, says its second-quarter earnings surged from a year ago as profits from investment banking grew. The bank made $6.1 billion in the second quarter after stripping out payments to preferred shareholders. That was up 32 percent from the same period a year ago, when it made $4.6 billion. Profits in the year-ago period were affected by a trading loss.

Producer prices rose more than expected in June, pointing to an apparent increase in inflationary pressures that could make the Federal Reserve more comfortable about reducing its monetary stimulus. The Labor Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index increased 0.8 percent last month, the largest gain since September.

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