Big banks kicked off earnings season | China proved that the grass isn't always greener on the non-inflationary side |

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Today's big stories

  1. Wall Street kicked off earnings season in style, with big banks reporting better-than-expected results
  2. This massive AI opportunity is way closer than any cloud – Read Now
  3. China’s inflation is floating around zero, but that’s not necessarily anything to covet

Red Means Go

Red Means Go

What’s going on here?

JPMorgan kicked off earnings season on Friday, with results that breezed through any threat of danger.

What does this mean?

JPMorgan isn’t optimistic: the big bank’s CEO declared on Friday that “this is the world’s most dangerous time in decades”. That said, Friday the 13th still proved lucky for some, with JPMorgan reporting danger-defying third-quarter results. More folk and firms wanted loans, and higher interest rates meant they were more lucrative than usual too. That drew net revenue up 15% from the same time last year, and a tight grip on costs meant profit came in above analyst expectations too. And despite the firm’s doomsaying, JPMorgan released some of the cash it had stored up to cover loans, in case hard-up borrowers couldn't repay what they owe. That’s a reassuring sign that the economy and consumers are holding up alright, at least for the time being.

Why should I care?

Zooming out: This isn’t a solo act.

Not to be left out, Citigroup reported a better-than-expected 9% uptick in revenue last quarter versus the same time last year. Most of the bank’s departments held their own, but the banking division – which makes money by lending to companies and netting fees from corporate deals – stood out by bringing the segment's revenue up 17% after a long bout of sleepiness.

For you personally: Smoke and rearview mirrors.

Bank earnings can indicate the current state of the economy, but they don’t give much away about what to expect next. That’s because the dynamics that decide big banks’ profit switch up really quickly: market volatility, for example, can completely transform a trading division’s results. So while they can make for an interesting read, banks’ books are by no means a magical crystal ball for investors.

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Analyst Take

This Is AI’s Most Underrated Opportunity, And The Eight Stocks At The Center Of It

This Is AI’s Most Underrated Opportunity, And The Eight Stocks At The Center Of It
Photo of Stéphane Renevier, CFA

Stéphane Renevier, CFA, Analyst

When folk talk about AI investment opportunities, it’s usually all about the cloud.

But there’s a lot more to these technologies.

Bank of America’s been looking at a massive AI investing theme that’s a lot closer to the ground: end-device AI.

And that’s today’s Insight: why end-device AI is going to be big and the eight stocks already poised to benefit from its boom.

Read or listen to the Insight here


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Green, Green Grass

Green, Green Grass

What’s going on here?

Data showed that inflation in China is hovering around zero, but you know what they say, the economic situation isn't always brighter on the other side of the fence.

What does this mean?

Countries like the US and UK, weighed down by rising prices and the hefty interest rates designed to tackle them, might look at economies with zero inflation as a modern-day utopia. But China’s in that exact situation, and the country’s hardly thriving. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Chinese consumer prices were the same this September as they were last year, putting the country on the brink of deflation – potentially a much more threatening foe.

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: It’s everyone else’s fault.

Mind you, China might be able to place some of the blame outside its own borders. See, prices in the country’s services sector were actually 1.3% higher than the same time last year, which means it’s the manufacturing sector dropping the ball. And because a lot of that sector’s activity is focused on producing goods to export, weaker demand from abroad is clearly taking a toll. Maybe, then, China’s economy will reap the benefits when inflation-embroiled countries manage to get their ducks in a row.

For markets: Two out of three ain’t bad.

China’s lackluster economy and long-struggling property market have been subject to a lot of scrutiny. But actually, the government’s not too far behind the three targets it set itself back in March. The International Monetary Fund’s projections see the country’s economy nearing its 5% growth target, while official unemployment figures in urban areas are 0.3% ahead of the goal. Only inflation – sitting at 0% despite a 3.3% target – is behind schedule. So despite cries for the Chinese government to firehose more cash into the economy, the country may be more on track than it seems.

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If you’re holding Nvidia, you need to read this

Nvidia’s arguably the US’s top-performing stock, having more than doubled this year alone.  

But whether you already hold Nvidia or are eyeing it up as your ticket into the multi-trillion-dollar AI market, you’ll want to read Marc Chaikin’s prediction.

A regular on major US news outlets, Chaikin built the stock indicator Wall Street uses to find winning stocks. It spotted Tesla, Moderna, Riot Blockchain, and Nvidia before they exploded.

And right now, Chaikin says there are better AI stocks to own than Nvidia. You can discover them in his new report, Three Stocks to Watch During the AI Frenzy, for free.

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