We are an hour into today’s session and the market is trading lower after an analyst’s comments on the dreary outlook for the Financial sector. The Dow is tumbling 175 points, or 1.4%, and the Nasdaq is down 25 points, or 1%, on the news and the fact that oil is up again today and approaching the $130 level. Yikes…

As you would expect, some financial stocks are taking it on the chin:

Citigroup (C, $22.45, down $0.54)
Wells Fargo (WFC, $28.06, down $0.42)
Wachovia (WB, $26.88, down $0.48)

In other news, let’s look at the report card for some of the companies that have announced earnings today.

AutoZone (AZO, $129.80, up $2.00). The company reported a rise in profits and the stock is up on the news.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ, $46.29, down $0.42). The stock is lower ahead of earnings. HP reports after the bell.

Home Depot (HD, $27.61, down $1.26). No surprise here as HD’s profits dropped a whopping 65%. The economy and the housing slump have really put the one-two punch on this former Wall Street darling.

Intuit (INTU, $27.37, down $0.03). The stock was slightly in the green when I started this blog and has now turned slightly lower. Intuit has beaten Wall Street’s expectations for three straight years or 12 consecutive quarters. There has been some action this morning in the June 30 calls (IQUFF, $0.38, down $0.02) which would represent a 10% gain in the stock if the 30 strike price is hit.

Target (TGT, $55.00, up $0.08). Target sales were up 5% but reported an 8% drop in profits.

Rick Rouse