U.S. Stocks Drift Lower Despite Strong Earnings From JP Morgan; 10 Captured U.S. Sailors Released

U.S. stocks are dropping in early trading on Thursday despite stronger than expected earnings from JP Morgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States.

JP Morgan Chase posted earnings of $ 1.32 a share in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 10.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago. Revenue increased 0.8 percent to 23.7 billion.  Net income was 5.4 billion.

JP Morgan Chase is the first U.S. bank to report during the 4Q earnings season.

Tomorrow will see more economic data released that includes retail sales for December, Empire Manufacturing for January, PPI and Core PPI for December, Industrial Production for December, and Michigan Sentiment.


Yesterday Iran released 10 U.S. Navy sailors from 2 small U.S. Navy vessels that Iran claimed had veered into Iranian waters.

U.S. and Iranian ships often come in close contact during navy maneuvers in the Straight of Hormuz.

According to a senior U.S. navy spokesman, the 10 sailors left Farsi Island on Wednesday where they were held briefly in captivity.

Secretary Kerry spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to help secure the safe release of the sailors which comes at a critical time between the 2 countries when Iranian sanctions are coming to an end and recent volatility between Saudi Arabia and Iran have escalated tensions across the region.

Secretary Kerry told Foreign Minister Zarif that the incident was caused by a mechanical problem that resulted in one of the U.S. vessels drifting into Iranian waters.

During a press conference yesterday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry thanked Iranian authorities for cooperating and arranging the quick release of the 10 sailors.

“All indications suggest or tell us that our sailors were well taken care of, provided with blankets and food and assisted with their return to the fleet earlier today. And I think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago and, in fact, it is clear that today this kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved and efficiently resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong” said Secretary Kerry.



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