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Markets Open Lower, Anticipating Earnings, GM Bankruptcy

Wall Street opened lower this morning, as traders brace for first-quarter earnings reports from important market components and GM appears more likely than ever headed for bankruptcy.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 101 points, or about 1.2 percent.

The broader S&P 500 is down about 1.1 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down just less than 1 percent.

It's increasingly looking like GM is not going to make it as a standalone company without some form of government-backed -- what many are calling "surgical" -- bankruptcy.

Chrysler has its hopes pinned to a merger with Fiat, but GM has no suitor save for the federal government, which is backing a "good GM/bad GM plan," in which the poorly performing parts of GM are sheared off and, well, sold for parts, leaving the more profitable elements of GM intact going forward.

The markets also are clenched a little looking forward to earnings this week from Goldman Sachs, GE, Citgroup and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Wells Fargo surprised everyone last week by saying it is anticipating a record $3 billion profit for the quarter, but that was largely on the backs of new mortgages and depositors spending less and saving more. Goldman and J.P. Morgan are not retail banks, despite their status as bank-holding companies, so they won't get the same boost as Wells Fargo. Citigroup, a retail bank, may, however.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 13, 2009; 9:53 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Citigroup, Dow Jones, GE, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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