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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
April 11, 2014
16:21 EDTJPM, WFC, BOFI, HRB, ZIGO, AME, HLF, NQOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower in a session that saw the averages struggle for direction early before sellers gained control and pushed stocks lower through the second half of the session. With today's losses, the averages each finished the week with losses greater than 2%, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq losing 3% to close below 4,000 for the first time since early February. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the Producer Price Index jumped 0.5% in March, versus expectations for it to be up 0.1%. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment reading jumped to 82.6 in the preliminary April look, which was better than forecast and its highest reading since July. COMPANY NEWS: JPMorgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) kicked off earnings season for the major banks, with their quarterly results, and stocks, moving in opposite directions following the news. Dow member JPMorgan fell $2.10, or 3.66%, to $55.30 after its earnings per share and revenue significantly trailed consensus estimates. Shares of Wells gained 37c, or 0.78%, to $48.08 after the bank's profits beat the consensus forecast. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was BofI Holding (BOFI), up $6.02, or 8.09%, to $80.46 near midday after the company last night announced a deal to acquire H&R Block's (HRB) bank assets. H&R Block shares fell 78c, or 2.74%, to $27.64. Also higher was Zygo (ZIGO), up $4.75, or 32.36%, to $19.43 after the company agreed to be acquired by Ametek (AME) for $19.25 per share in cash in a deal that represents an aggregate enterprise value of $280M for Zygo. Among the noteworthy losers was Herbalife (HLF), down $8.36, or 13.97%, to $51.48 after a report late in the session from the Financial Times said the company is facing a criminal investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI regarding its business practices. Also lower was NQ Mobile (NQ), a recent target of noted short-seller Carson Block, down $3.29, or 20.58%, to $12.70 after its profit missed expectations and the company disclosed that it found accounting errors in its recent reports. INDEXES: The Dow was down 143.47, or 0.89%, to 16,026.75; the S&P 500 was down 17.39, or 0.95%, to 1,815.69; the Nasdaq was down 54.37, or 1.34%, to 3,999.73.
News For JPM;WFC;BOFI;HRB;ZIGO;AME;HLF;NQ From The Last 14 Days
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July 11, 2014
08:04 EDTWFCWells Fargo reports loans $828.9B at June 30, up $2.5B from March 31
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08:02 EDTWFCWells Fargo CEO says 'optimistic' about bank's future
“Our strong results in the second quarter reflected the benefit of our diversified business model and our long-term focus on meeting the financial needs of our customers,” said Chairman and CEO John Stumpf. “By continuing to serve customers we grew loans, increased deposits and deepened our relationships. Our results also reflected strong credit quality driven by an improved economy, especially the housing market, and our continued risk discipline. We are committed to both maintaining strong capital levels and returning more capital to our shareholders. In the second quarter we increased our common stock dividend 17 percent and repurchased 39.4 million shares. We remain dedicated to building long-term shareholder value, and I am optimistic about the future as we continue to focus on meeting the needs of our consumer, small business and commercial customers.” CFO John Shrewsberry said, “The primary drivers of Wells Fargo’s business remained strong in the second quarter, with broad-based loan growth, increased deposit balances, and improved credit quality. Revenue increased linked quarter as the Company grew both net interest income and noninterest income, a reflection of Wells Fargo’s diversified business model. These solid fundamental business results led to an increase in pre-tax income linked quarter. Net income was down as the Company’s effective tax rate was lower in the first quarter due to a $423 million discrete tax benefit.”
08:01 EDTWFCWells Fargo reports Q2 EPS $1.01, consensus $1.01
Reports Q2revenue $21.07B, consensus $20.82B.
07:30 EDTWFCGlobal Interdependence Center to hold a summit
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07:20 EDTWFC, JPMBig banks seen losing reserve release cushion, Reuters says
Releasing loan-loss reserves has helped U.S. big banks weather a period of weak loan demand and lower fee income, but Q2 results from the banks may see less benefit from the practice as loss rates and reserves near their lower limits, said Reuters. Publicly traded companies in the space include Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), U.S. Bancorp (USB) and Wells Fargo (WFC). Reference Link
July 10, 2014
15:49 EDTWFCWells Fargo July weekly 52 straddle priced for 2% move into Q2
15:13 EDTWFCNotable companies reporting before tomorrow's open
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14:15 EDTHLFHerbalife p.r. flurry 'smells of desperation,' Seeking Alpha contributor says
Herbalife, in an effort to inform investors that 21 independent members are traveling to Washington D.C. in support of the company, released six nearly identical press releases this morning, as noted by Seeking Alpha contributor "Quoth the Raven." Putting the news out in this way, via six press releases instead of "one, concise release is unprofessional and farcical - it smells of desperation for positive press," according to the author, who disclosed a short position in the stock. Reference Link
13:24 EDTWFCEarnings Preview: Analysts divided on Wells Fargo ahead of results
Wells Fargo (WFC) is scheduled to report second quarter earnings before the open on Friday, July 11 with a conference call scheduled for 10:00 am ET. Wells Fargo is a bank holding company. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for EPS of $1.01 on revenue of $20.82B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 93c-$1.06 on revenue of $20.34B-$22.74B. LAST QUARTER: Wells reported stronger than expected first quarter results, as its net chargeooffs tumbled $594M year-over-year and its nonperforming assets sank 18% year-over-year. However, the bank’s revenue did decline to $20.6B, from $21.3B during the same period a year earlier. On May 20, Wells said that it was targeting a net payout ratio of 55%-75%. The bank defined net payout as dividend and share repurchases less issuances. The bank added that it would target return on equity of 12%-15%. Wells said it was "well-positioned for rising rates," and indicated that its competition was intensifying. On June 6, The New York Times reported that Wall Street's largest banks this year significantly cut the number of bonds they held, leaving them with a negative position in bonds in March, as they expected bond prices to drop, Since bond prices rose, a number of the large banks have said that their earnings would be hurt by this trade, the newspaper stated. STREET RESEARCH: In a note to investors on July 7, FBR Capital named Wells as one of its favorite names in the banking space. Wells is one of the banks that’s benefiting from above average loan growth while taking market share from its peers, according to the firm. Wells also has above-average growth prospects, high-quality earnings streams, and solid underlying fundamentals, FBR Capital stated. Conversely, Barron’s warned on June 30 that Wells’ stock looked pricey at $52.46. According to Barron’s, Macquarie predicted that the bank’s EPS growth was set to slow, while the stock rose more than it should have in the first half of 2014. Macquarie, which downgraded Wells to Underperform from Neutral on June 30, said that the bank’s core earnings had declined in the past four quarters, added Barron’s. Banks’ results remain challenging, as net interest income, fee revenues and core pre-provision earnings are all essentially unchanged since 2011, Oppenheimer wrote in a note to investors on July 7. Meanwhile, chargeoffs have likely hit bottom, the firm stated. But on a positive note, consumer lending is finally increasing and banks’ current expansion cycle likely has a few years to go, Oppenheimer believes. However, the firm kept a Perform rating on Wells Fargo. PRICE ACTION: Wells Fargo’s stock is up more than 14% this year and is not far from its 52-week high of $53.08.
06:28 EDTWFCOptions expected to be active
Options expected to be active: LL PBPB VNO FDO WFC COST ZUMZ UAL BA
06:21 EDTJPMJPMorgan appoints Li as new China head, Reuters says
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said it has appointed former UBS (UBS) banker David Li as the new head of its China division to replace top China banker Fang Fang who left the firm in March, according to Reuters, citing a statement from the U.S. company. Reference Link
July 9, 2014
08:39 EDTNQNQ Mobile responds to Muddy Waters report from July 7
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07:36 EDTWFCWells Fargo July weekly volatility increases into Q2 and outlook
Wells Fargo July weekly call option implied volatility is at 39, July is at 20, August is at 15, October is at 14; compared to its 26-week average of 16 according to Track Data, suggesting large near term price movement into the expected release of Q2 results on July 11.
July 8, 2014
13:39 EDTJPMJPMorgan seeks hundreds of millions in annual expense cuts, WSJ reports
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13:39 EDTJPMJP Morgan names Blessing as Vice Chair of IB EMEA, Bloomberg reports
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13:19 EDTJPMJP Morgan July volatility increases into Q2 and outlook
JP Morgan July call option implied volatility is at 19, August is at 17, October is at 16; compared to its 26-week average of 18 according to Track Data, suggesting large price movement into the expected release of Q2 results on July 15.
13:13 EDTJPMJPMorgan plans hundreds of millions in expense cuts this year, Dow reports
JPMorgan plans hundreds of millions of dollars in expense savings this year via office locations, third-party contracts and market data cuts, Dow Jones reports, citing sources.
12:58 EDTJPMBlackRock poaches JPMorgan Asset Management's Chris Jones, Reuters reports
BlackRock (BLK) has hired Chris Jones, an adviser from JPMorgan Asset Management (JPM), Reuters reports. Jones will serve as co-head of BlackRock's Global Fundamental Equity. Reference Link
11:48 EDTBOFIBofI Holding at risk for C&D order like The Bancorp, Citron Research says
In a new cautious report on Bank of the Internet (BOFI), Citron Research warns that "there is a huge short term risk" of a a Cease & Desist order being issued to the company, as occurred with The Bancorp Bank (TBBK) last month. Citron has a "near term" price target of $40 on shares of Bank of the Internet, which are down 7% to $68.82 following the publication of Citron's report. Reference Link
11:42 EDTBOFIBofI Holding mentioned cautiously by Citron Research
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