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Dow Plunges 143 Points; WFC, BAC, ZOES in the News

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 143 points to finish at 16,026.75. The Nasdaq dropped 54 points to finish at 3,999.73, while the S&P 500 lost 17 points to end the day at 1,815.69.
Here’s a recap of other major events today.

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  • A Banking Surprise: Shares of Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) surged after the company reported a 14% rise in net income, shattering analyst estimates. According to reports, the bank strengthened its expense controls and improved its credit quality, which helped offset concerns about its struggling mortgage practice. The earnings report shattered analyst expectations and makes Wells Fargo the most profitable bank in the Big Six. Rival JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) also reported earnings on Friday. JPMorgan shares slipped more than 3% after it reported weaker than expected results. Get the full report on JPM earnings and stock here.

  • Cold Days Ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Gazprom may slash natural gas exports to Ukraine. The warning to other European leaders stems from an unpaid bill that Ukraine hasn’t paid. Putin wants European leaders to meet and hold emergency talks on the matter immediately. Given the few options that Ukraine has and the fact that the United States won’t begin exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) until next year, Russia is exerting its leverage over its neighboring government. Putin is demanding that Ukraine pay for all of its natural gas in advance of delivery, placing an increased strain on the nation’s already fragile finances.
  • A Mountain of Money: OilPrice.com reports that China is now boring a 7-kilometer hole in order to procure minerals and metals from the Tibetan Plateau. The high-altitude project has been kept a secret for a while, and the companies taking part are also remaining on the hush-hush. It is expected that this region of the world has up to 70 billion barrels of oil (the largest reserve in the world) and tons and tons of copper, gold, and other vital metals. China is looking to cut its dependence on other nations to procure the resources it needs to continue to grow its economy.
  • That’s a Big Correction: Michael Hartnett, the chief investment strategist of Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), has called for a strong correction in the markets in a note released on April 10. Wrote Hartnett: “High cash, low leverage…bull markets don’t end this way. We think bigger 10-15% correction more likely in autumn as Fed QE ends and rate-hike expectations grow.” The doom and gloom prediction comes at the same time Marc Faber said a coming correction would be worse than the 1987 crash.
  • An IPO Lift-Off: Shares of Zoe’s Kitchen (NYSE: ZOES) soared by more than 65% on its first day of trading. Zoe’s, a Mediterranean-themed restaurant chain, was the strongest debut of three IPOs that launched on Friday. Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI) slipped by more than 9%, while Enable Midstream Partners LP (Nasdaq: ENBL) jumped 13.5%.

Read more at Money Morning View original post.

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