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  • Third Quarter Earnings Season Starts - 16 October 2014
  • JP Morgan Chase started the ball rolling in third quarter earnings for the banking sector, reporting $5.57 billion third quarter profit – results much different from the $380 million loss reported for the same period last year. A boost to the fixed income trading unit of the nation's largest bank was one of the motivating factors behind the turnaround, as fixed income revenues rose 2.1 percent year-on-year to beat analysts' forecasts. Earnings were weakened by the $1.1 billion reserved for legal costs*, resulting in a drop of 26 cents per share. Nonetheless, JP Morgan's results have raised investors' hopes that other Wall Street financial institutions will present favorable results in the coming weeks.

  • US Markets Respond Positively to FOMC Minutes - 21 August 2014
  • The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting held in July were the driving force behind fluctuations on Wall Street in the final hours of trading on Wednesday as investors absorbed the implications of the central bank holding back on raising interest rates for now. Stocks initially trimmed the day's gains, but rebounded soon after, with both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 returning to positive territory before the end of the regular session on Wall Street.

  • Wall Street Banks to Resubmit Resolution Plans - 7 August 2014
  • When U.S. banks deemed too-big-to-fail were in danger of failing in 2008, the government stepped in and bailed these banks out, largely at the expense of taxpayers. The reasons for this unprecedented action, which raised a storm of protest from many quarters, were many, and the matter of accountability remains a much debated issue. In 2010 the Dodd-Frank act was passed in an attempt to strengthen regulation of large financial institutions and thereby avoid the necessity of government bailouts in the future. As part of the new regulations, banks were required to submit Resolution Plans, more commonly referred to as ‘living wills’, detailing strategies for going through the bankruptcy procedure in a controlled and orderly manner should this ever become necessary.

  • Wall Street Bonuses Cause a Stir - 13 March 2014
  • Figures released Wednesday by New York State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, revealed that bankers on Wall Street enjoyed an average increase of 15 percent on their annual bonuses for 2013. While this works out to an average bonus of $164,530 it should be noted that the bonus pool of $26.7 billion in 2013 includes all staff members, from the most junior to the most senior, and was reportedly padded out by compensation that had been deferred from previous years. Nonetheless, news of Wall Street banker bonuses climbing 15 percent while, for example, profits from NYSE broker-dealer operations fell 30 percent in 2013, lends credence to the call for regulators to tighten up on banks.

  • Cautious Optimism on Wall Street for 2014 - 2 January 2014
  • With the CBOE Volatility Index down and major Wall Street indexes all up on the final trading day of 2013, investors are looking forward to 2014 with an air of cautious optimism. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 26.5 percent in 2013, being its best annual performance since 1995, while the Standard & Poor's 500 rose 29.6 percent over the past 12 months, its best performance since 1997. The Nasdaq composite index registered its best performance since 2009 with an increase of 38.3 percent. Moreover, the so-called "fear index" the VIX, fell 23.9 percent over the year, being its largest annual drop since 2009 and seen as a strong indication of improved investor sentiment.

  • Timothy Massad Nominated as CFTC Chairman - 14 November 2013
  • President Barack Obama's nomination of Timothy Massad to replace Gary Gensler as the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) came as no surprise. Massad played a significant role in the bank bailout program brought about by the 2008 financial crisis and should the Senate confirm his nomination, Massad will head the agency charged with implementing the Dodd-Frank Act aimed at regulating trading of complex derivatives on Wall Street. This lucrative, and often volatile, market has been accused of being one of the root causes in the destabilization of the US economy and the CFTC has the task of ensuring this particular piece of history is not repeated.

  • Reid-McConnell Act Averts Default - 17 October 2013
  • Stock markets rallied in response to an eleventh-hour agreement to end the partial US government shutdown, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq all closing up by more than one percent on Wednesday just prior to confirmation of the deal which will fund the US government until January 15, 2014, and extend the debt ceiling to February 7. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 1,721, the Dow Jones climbed by 206 points to close at 15,374 and the Nasdaq rose 45 points to 3,839 on Wednesday amid an upbeat mood on Wall Street.

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