Wall Street rally pauses as tepid bank earnings, media stocks weigh

Citigroup FICC Trading Revenue Matches 3Q Estimates

US stocks closed lower on Thursday as Wall Street digested earnings from some of the top financial companies.

In a statement, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said the bank had "a very solid quarter" across Citi's businesses.

Shares in both banks were down slightly in early trade.

Commenting on the lender's latest set of results, chief Michael Corbat said: "We had revenues in numerous products we have been investing in, tightly managed our expenses, and again saw loan growth in both our consumer and institutional businesses". Citi's drop in bond trading revenue is similar to what JPMorgan Chase reported on Thursday as well.

Analysts on Citi's earnings call questioned when the incentives would end and investors would start to see a return.

Executives at the largest US bank touted the diverse mix of businesses that allow JPMorgan to weather a dip in one area or another, and downplayed a 27 percent drop in bond trading revenue even though weakness has continued into the fourth quarter.

Shares of AT&T dropped, down 5.8 percent as of 3.05pm in NY, after the owner of DirecTV said it lost 90,000 USA video subscribers in the quarter.

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While Citi's trading desks focus heavily on bond and currency trading, it was the bank's other trading desks that stood out.

Trading revenue during the fourth quarter of 2016 benefited from a surge in trading activity following the USA election.

"We all would anticipate greater loan growth if there was a bit more clarity as far as you know when or if tax reform was going to pass", Gersprach said. While bond trading was down 16 percent, stock trading was up 16 percent and security services were up 12 percent.

And the trend bodes poorly for Goldman Sachs Group Inc, which has recently struggled more in that area than other Wall Street banks.

"Not a huge reaction to earnings despite relatively healthy quarter out of the early reporters".

JPMorgan's markets revenue is likely to drop again in the fourth quarter because the year-ago period was strong, Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said on a conference call with analysts. "We had revenue increases in numerous products we have been investing in, tightly managed our expenses, and again saw loan growth in both our consumer and institutional businesses".

Bank of America Corp and Wells Fargo & Co, the second- and third-biggest USA banks by assets, are due to report results on Friday.

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