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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Markets Open Lower On Mixed Results

Mixed first-quarter earnings results out this morning pushed Wall Street down at opening.

In the first 15 minutes of trading, the Dow is down 45 points, or half of 1 percent.

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

Investment bank Morgan Stanley reported a larger-than-expected first-quarter loss, which offset solid earnings reports by McDonald's (evidently, not only recession-proof, but recession-loving) and AT&T.

Retail banks, such as Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, have performed better in the first quarter than the big Wall Street investment banks, such as Morgan Stanley, because the retail banks benefited from a first-quarter surge in mortgage refinances and deposits, as people stopped spending and started saving.

Even though investment banks such as Morgan Stanley are official bank-holding companies, meaning they can take deposits, their money comes from trading, not opening savings accounts for regular folk, so they have missed the first-quarter retail bump.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 22, 2009; 9:27 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: AT&T, Bank of America, Citigroup, Dow Jones, McDonald's, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, nasdaq, s&p 500  
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