Bulls Find No Joy In After Hours Session

Not a great after-hours session for bulls:

1) American Expressreported a notable miss ($0.56 vs. expectations of $0.83), and it's not hard to see where the bulk of the miss came from. a $600 million ($374 after-tax) addition to U.S. lending credit reserves.

"Credit indicators deteriorated beyond our expectations, CEO Kenneth Chenault said.

More from the release:

--"we are no longer tracking to our prior forecast of 4-6 percent earnings per share growth"

--"we do not expect to meet or exceed our long-term financial targets until we see improvement in the economy"

--the environment has weakened considerably since January, particularly during June

--"the scope of the economic fallout was evident even among our longer term, superprime Cardmembers"

AmEx down 10 percent after the close.

2) Apple beat estimates, the Mac and iPod sales were strong, but gave typically conservative guidance. Traders know they typically lowball the guidance by 5 to 8 percent; problem is that the guidance for the current quarter (about $1.00) is well below the analyst estimates for the current quarter ($1.24). Down about 5 percent after the close.

3) Merckhas suspended guidance to assess the effect of the Vytorin announcement today; down 6 percent after the close after being down 6 percent during regular trading hours.

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