Damn! Investors Be Wary Amid Banking Sector 'Earnings'?

<p>&nbsp;Stock futures were mixed on Friday as major US banks kicked off the earnings season with positive gains, but the burgeoning conflict in the Middle East kept investors on guard.</p><p><br /></p><p>S&amp;P 500 futures fell about 0.1%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts were slightly above flat, as both indicators pared early losses. The technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 stock market fell 0.4%.</p><p><br /></p><p>Wall Street banks kicked off the third quarter earnings season on Friday, with reports from Wells Fargo (WFC) and BlackRock (BLK). JPMorgan ( JPM ) strengthened its dominance among US lenders with a 35% increase in profits.</p><p><br /></p><p><br /></p><p>These results will be scrutinized to gain insight into the extent to which banks are prepared for higher interest rates by the Fed and whether the downturn in the two-year deal will eventually ease.</p><p><br /></p><p>10-year Treasury bond yields fell on signs that Israel would soon launch a ground attack on Gaza, raising concerns that the conflict could escalate Bond yields rose and stocks ended a four-day gain on Thursday after data showed that US consumer inflation held steady.</p><p><br /></p><p>For commodities, oil prices surged due to concerns in the Middle East and the issue of the US imposing tighter restrictions on crude oil sales to Russia.</p>

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