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Thursday Market Note: JP Morgan's Mixed Bag

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Unlike the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx, when athletes and their teams who grace the cover of the magazine subsequently encounter bad luck or disappointing performance, the appearance of JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on the cover of The New York Times Business Day section had no ill effects on the nation's second largest bank, as measured by assets.

JP Morgan Chase reported earnings of $4.8 billion or $1.09 per share, from $2.7 billion during the comparable period a year earlier. Analysts expected 70 cents a share. Revenue was of $25.6 billion in the second quarter, in line with expectations.

Still, all was not rosy--the company's investment-banking division reported a 6.1 percent decline in profit on a 13 percent drop in revenue and CEO Dimon noted that the results included "the benefit from a $1.5 billion reduction of loan loss reserves -- which we do not believe represents normal ongoing earnings -- partially offset by a charge of $550 million for the U.K. bonus tax."

Profits increased in the retail financial services division, primarily due to a reduction in charge-offs and delinquencies in the consumer business. JP Morgan reiterated that consumer lending remains weak.

Prior to the release, Asian stocks fell (markets there were already closed before the JP Morgan news) and European markets were trading lower. Stocks reversed course after the report and US stock futures are now trading higher.

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