Good news for banks, Boeing, Apple and taper watchers
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
Citi profit surges
Citigroup today became the third big bank to report robust earnings, as financial services close in on technology as the most profitable U.S. industry.
Citi posted a 42 percent increase in second-quarter profit, beating analysts' estimates. It saw stronger home prices, lower losses on mortgages and a big gain in stock-trading revenue. JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. also posted solid gains recently.
"We continue to be bullish on Citi. We've had a strong buy for about two years now, and we think it is a $70 to $75 stock within two years."
— Anthony Polini, analyst with Raymond James
Sigh of relief at Boeing
When is a fire in a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner good news? When it probably doesn't have anything to do with its previously troublesome lithium-ion batteries. Investigators are focusing on the emergency locator transmitter, not the batteries, in the Ethiopian Airlines jet that caught fire at Heathrow Airport on Friday.
In the meantime, Boeing is going again; its shares have regained ground, and carriers that fly the 787 are not reducing flights, as the fire is being treated as an isolated incident.
"It doesn't mean it was a bad transmitter, it doesn't necessarily mean that is the exact cause, but that is slightly encouraging news for Boeing."
— CNBC's Phil LeBeau
Apple's next big thing
Apple is said to be hiring talent to develop what should be its next big product, dubbed the iWatch. According to an article in the Financial Times, Apple is looking outward for developers possessing a different skill set this time around. The iPad, iPod and iPhone are relatively similar, whereas a smart watch is vastly different. With this the first all-new product introduced under new chief Tim Cook, the stakes are high. The watch is rumored to have a flexible touch screen display that will fit on the wrist like a slap bracelet.
"I think the talent question is very different from three or four years ago for Apple. The stock price, if nothing else, means that there's less of an incentive for people to come. They're not jumping on that rocket ship anymore. Although, if there was a big, new hit product that could change. They're having difficulty retaining talent among the rank and file. They've got the executive team still there. I think they are obviously talented people that work at Apple. I'm not trying to say that they are messing the product up, but they are trying to look outside to get extra inspiration. It's such a high-stakes product and it's the first new category that they've moved into under Tim Cook's leadership."
—Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times
Putting taper worry to rest
Hopefully, this will be the last you hear of tapering for a while, as market watchers say that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's dovish words last week signaled no tapering of its bond-buying program for some time to come. For the time being, the market should be focused not on FOMC memos or Federal Reserve officials, but on earnings.
"I think it's going to be all about earnings for the next couple of weeks. Last week, we had a big risk rebound as Bernanke made clear that tapering fears were probably premature and the Fed's not really in any hurry to do anything, unemployment is still too high and inflation is still too low."
— Alec Young, global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ
Oil's roller-coaster ride
Oil is spiking, and prices at the pump are surging along with it as the peak summer travel season arrives. AAA says the average price of a gallon of gas in the U.S. has gone up by 14 cents in a week as troubles in Egypt, higher demand in the U.S. and some refinery disruptions take their toll.
But wait, the head of Gulf Oil says oil prices could halve before long, as an oversupply of the stuff (and natural gas) is being taken from the ground in the U.S. and Canada. With global demand slowing and supply only rising in the U.S. and among OPEC members, prices have to come down, he says.
"It looks fairly bleak for the next few weeks. Gas prices will be going higher nationally, anywhere to the tune of 10 to 20 cents a gallon."
—Patrick Dehaan, petroleum analyst with Gasbuddy.com
"It's simple economics. We're producing record amounts of oil and natural gas in the United States and in Canada. The market is well supplied by OPEC, in fact OPEC's supplies are higher. As the prices go down, those who are targeting revenue actually have to sell more oil to maintain the same revenue. And China's demand is slowing."
—Joe Petrowski, CEO of Gulf Oil
—By Doug Cubberley, Special to CNBC.com