FINANCE INSIDER: Banks, deals, and Bill Ackman

Finance Insider is Business Insider’s midday summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours.

It’s earnings season for Wall Street banks, and JPMorgan kicked things off Thursday with a beat on the top and bottom lines.

The firm reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.46 ($1.43 expected) on revenue of $25.20 billion ($24.50 expected).

One of JPMorgan’s businesses in particular showed unusually strong results, and that could mean good news for the rest of the Street, too.

In deals news, the biggest IPO of the year soared in its debut, and Bayer isn’t letting Monsanto off the hook with a $55 billion takeover offer.

The activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is making headlines on Thursday. He called in to CNBC’s Halftime Report and threw shade at Andrew Left, the short seller who tanked Valeant, which Ackman is invested in. Left announced Wednesday that he was once again short the company.

Meanwhile, it turns out neither Valeant’s board nor the former CEO, Michael Pearson, wanted Bill Ackman around when he first got involved with that company.

Here are the top Wall Street headlines at midday:

It’s bank earnings season, and everyone’s talking about one thing — The focus this year has shifted from oil prices to credit to interest rates.

Earnings from the world’s biggest investor give a clear picture of everything happening in the market right now — BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in the company’s release that it saw, “significant strength in fixed income and ‘smart-beta’ ETFs, as clients utilise these tools to manage risk and minimise volatility.”

The world isn’t ‘drowning in debt’ even though there’s more of it than ever before — Michael Pearce, global economist at Capital Economics, said that while the amount of debt is notable, it isn’t at a point where it will cause a major problem for the global economy.

Delta just highlighted one of the biggest issues that we’ll hear all earnings season — “Brexit” continues to show up in company earnings.

Consumer Reports wants Tesla to turn off part of its Autopilot technology — The influential consumer review magazine said the recent fatal crash that occurred while the Autopilot feature was engaged on a Tesla Model S should give pause to the “company’s aggressive roll-out of self-driving technology.”

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