The stock market was helped this morning by good news from JPMorgan Chase (JPM). The bank earned 40 cents a share for the first quarter which was eight cents more than Wall Street was expecting. Like other banks, JPM said it wants to pay back its TARP money as soon as it can. Interestingly, CEO Jamie Dimon said they won’t participate in Secretary Geithner’s private/public investment plan to buy toxic assets, as a buyer or a seller.
I currently rate JPMorgan Chase a buy.
There were two economic reports this morning. First, housing starts fell 10% last month. This isn’t a surprise because inventories are still high. Also, the government reported the new unemployment claims plunged by 53,000 last week. This is very good news, but it may not be the beginning of a trend. Easter may have distorted the number, but it’s still good news.