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  • Yesterday, 11:51 AM
    • Cross-selling may a dirty word at the moment thanks to the Wells Fargo fraud, but pressure on the big banks to show growth isn't going anywhere.
    • The WSJ reports Merrill Lynch will require each of its thundering herd to make at least two client referrals to other parts of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), or face a 1% pay cut.
    • Unlike Wells, which pressed employees for actual account openings, Merrill is requesting only "referrals."
    • Merrill brokers likely will not complain as the 2017 pay grid is unchanged from 2016 (other than for this possible penalty) versus 2016 when certain grid thresholds were raised.
    | Yesterday, 11:51 AM | 6 Comments
  • Tue, Dec. 6, 3:18 PM
    • After a three standard deviation move in large-cap bank stocks, it seems logical to think about heading to the sidelines, says analyst Betsy Graseck. But should the names pull back, she recommends adding to positions as the bull case still outweighs the bear case next year.
    • Using base case 2018 estimates and a target P/E of 12x implies 14% upside for Morgan's eight Overweight-rated stocks. The bull case on 2018 estimates with the same target P/E means upside of 41%.
    • Top picks are Citigroup (NYSE:C), Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) on stronger capital returns; Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) on higher rates and lower expenses; Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) on rising market volatility and improving VAR productivity; JPMorgan and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) on stronger loan growth and expense management; Capital One (NYSE:COF) and Discover (NYSE:DFS) on rising consumer leverage and higher capital return.
    | Tue, Dec. 6, 3:18 PM | 46 Comments
  • Tue, Dec. 6, 11:48 AM
    • Inline with what Jamie Dimon earlier said his bank was seeing, Bank of America (BAC +0.2%) CEO Brian Moynihan says trading revenues are up about 15% Y/Y in Q4.
    • Still in the process of a sizable cost-cutting effort, Moynihan says the bank plans to boost the pay of its lowest-paid employees to $15 per hour.
    • Investor optimism since the election"doesn't surprise me," he says, noting hope for boosted capital payouts and less stringent regulation.
    • Presentation slides
    | Tue, Dec. 6, 11:48 AM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Dec. 6, 2:19 AM
    • Top executives from the largest U.S. banks and asset managers are set to begin speaking at Goldman Sachs' U.S. Financial Services Conference.
    • Those appearing at the event include CEOs of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), BofA (NYSE:BAC), Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG), Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and American Express (NYSE:AXP).
    • Wells Fargo's (NYSE:WFC) new CEO Tim Sloan, who took the top job in October after the bank's fake account scandal, will also take the podium.
    | Tue, Dec. 6, 2:19 AM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, Dec. 5, 12:40 PM
    • The FRBNY's William Dudley isn't concerned about the post-election jump in rates at the long end of the curve, and says the Fed is about to start following suit at the short end.
    • Even the dovish Charles Evans from the Chicago Fed admits inflation is getting closer to the central bank's target, and the labor market is close to full employment.
    • The 10-year Treasury yield had moved as high as 2.45%, but has pulled back to 2.40%, still up 1.5 basis points on the session.
    • On the regulatory front, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo on Friday set himself up as the chief defender of the current bank regulatory regime, but whether his voice will be heard is a different story given the incoming administration, which looks to be staffed with those favoring a far lighter regulatory hand.
    • Financial sector stocks today are about doubling the S&P 500's 0.5% advance.
    • TBTF banks: Bank of America (BAC +2.3%), Citigroup (C +1.8%), JPMorgan (JPM +1.3%), Wells Fargo (WFC +0.9%), Goldman Sachs (GS +1.7%), Morgan Stanley (MS +0.4%)
    • Regional lenders: U.S. Bancorp (USB +0.7%), PNC Financial (PNC +0.4%), KeyCorp (KEY -0.8%), Fifth Third (FITB +0.5%)
    • Insurers: MetLife (MET +0.3%), Lincoln National (LNC), AIG (AIG +0.2%)
    • Brokerage: Schwab (SCHW +0.9%), E*Trade (ETFC +0.9%)
    • Custodial banks: State Street (STT +0.5%), Northern Trust (NTRS +1%)
    • Private equity: Blackstone (BX +0.9%), KKR (KKR +1%)
    • Asset Management: BlackRock (BLK +0.1%), Franklin Resources (BEN +0.5%), Affiliated Managers (AMG +1.8%)
    | Mon, Dec. 5, 12:40 PM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Dec. 5, 11:41 AM
    • There are multi-year highs again across the sector as interest rates continue to rise, but, maybe more importantly, bank investors begin to envision a far less heavy regulatory burden.
    • In a speech Friday described by FBR's Ed Mills as "going out swinging," Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo set himself up as the chief defender of the status quo, saying he doesn't see a "sound economic case" for rolling back the post-crisis regulatory regime.
    • Whether anyone hears him much going forward is a different story, given names like former BB&T boss John Allison or former FDIC chief Thomas Hoenig being thrown around as possible Fed vice chairmen for bank supervision. Both Allison and Hoenig are fans of following simple leverage ratios, but Tarullo says just focusing on those is "inadequate and dangerous."
    • Tarullo's voice will also have to rise above that of Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum led by Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman.
    • XLF +1.15%, KRE +1.1%, KBE +1.25%
    • Bank of America (BAC +2.6%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.4%), JPMorgan (JPM +1.6%), Citigroup (C +2.3%), Goldman Sachs (GS +2.1%), U.S. Bancorp (USB +1%), Regions Financial (RF +1.5%), Synovus (SNV +1.1%), SunTrust (STI +1.4%), Primerica (PRI +2.1%), Bank of New York (BNY +1.4%), State Street (STT +1.1%)
    | Mon, Dec. 5, 11:41 AM | 17 Comments
  • Fri, Dec. 2, 11:51 AM
    • The financial sector is taking a breather from its staggering post-election run, with a post-jobs report dip in rates a good enough excuse for satiated bulls to cash in some chips.
    • XLF -1%, KBE -0.7%, KRE -0.7%.
    • Individual issues: Bank of America (BAC -1.8%), Morgan Stanley (MS -1.2%), Citigroup (C -1.9%), M&T (MTB -1.1%), Flagstar (FBC -1.7%), Fifth Third (FITB -1.6%), PNC Financial (PNC -1.4%), Prudential (PRU -1.1%), Lincoln National (LNC -1.9%), Schwab (SCHW -2.1%), State Street (STT -1.8%)
    • No longer part of the financial sector as far as the GICS classification, REITs are enjoying the respite in rates. IYR +1.6%, VNQ +1.6%
    • Realty Income (O +4.1%), Vereit (VER +3%), Omega Healthcare (OHI +3.2%), Welltower (HCN +3.5%), HCP (HCP +2.7%), Universal Health (UHT +4.4%), W.P. Carey (WPC +2%), Lexington Realty (LXP +2.5%), Essex Property (ESS +1.2%), Aimco (AIV +1.5%), General Growth (GGP +2.6%), Brixmor (BRX +1.6%), Federal Realty (FRT +1.8%), Kimco (KIM +1.2%), Public Storage (PSA +1.4%), Life Storage (LSI +1.4%), Boston Properties (BXP +1.2%), Stag Industrial (STAG +2.4%).
    | Fri, Dec. 2, 11:51 AM | 22 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 12:22 PM
    • The 10-year Treasury yield is up another seven basis points to 2.46%, and bank investors continue to wrap their arms around the idea that real regulatory loosening is on the way. The XLF is higher by 1.7% vs. the S&P 500 being flat. KBE +2.15%, KRE +2%.
    • Bank of America (BAC +3%), Citigroup (C +1.7%), JPMorgan (JPM +2.2%), MetLife (MET +2.2%), Voya Financial (VOYA +3.3%), Northern Trust (NTRS +3.5%).
    • Oil is now ahead 4.6% to $51.72, helping the XLE to another 2.1% advance.
    • Tech (QQQ -1.4%) continues to struggle. Its decline today puts it lower by 1.1% since the election vs. the S&P's 2.8% advance, a 10% gain for the XLE, and a 14.5% move for the XLF.
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 12:22 PM | 17 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 9:31 AM
    • November monthly performance was: +0.62%
    • AUM of $7.64M
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: -5%
    • No dividends were paid in November
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 10/31/2016: Apple Inc (AAPL): 4.78232%, Microsoft Corp (MSFT): 3.6545%, General Electric Co (GE): 2.09427%, Procter & Gamble Co (PG): 1.43859%, Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM): 1.36332%, Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): 1.34175%, Intel Corp (INTC): 1.2948%, Bank of America Corporation (BAC): 1.2811%, Pfizer Inc (PFE): 1.22767%, Alphabet Inc C (GOOG): 1.22159%
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 9:31 AM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 8:46 AM
    • November monthly performance was: +5.59%
    • AUM of $13.4B
    • 52-week performance vs. the S&P 500 is: 0%
    • No dividends were paid in November
    • Top 10 Holdings as of 9/30/2016: JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM): 3.11216%, Citigroup Inc (C): 2.91346%, US Treasury Note 1.125%, US Treasury Note 0.5%, Bank of America Corporation (BAC): 2.04729%, Morgan Stanley (MS): 1.65388%, Apache Corp (APA): 1.61818%, Merck & Co Inc (MRK): 1.45989%, US Treasury Note 0.75%, Devon Energy Corp (DVN): 1.39074%
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 8:46 AM
  • Wed, Nov. 30, 11:45 AM
    • While the pick of ex-Goldmanite and Hollywood player Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary can hardly be called "draining the swamp," Pantheon's Ian Shepherdson says it should make Wall Street happy.
    • In his first public comments after being selected, Mnuchin promised to "kill" swaths of Dodd-Frank.
    • Also making Wall Street (and other bankers/insurers/brokers) happy today is another big move higher in interest rates, with the 10-year Treasury yield up 10 basis points to 2.394%.
    • The S&P 500 is just marginally higher, but the KBE is ahead 1.9%, and the KRE 2%. XLF +1.35%
    • Bank of America (BAC +3.4%), Citigroup (C +1.9%), JPMorgan (JPM +1.5%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.8%), Morgan Stanley (MS +2.1%), Goldman Sachs (GS +3.9%), U.S. Bancorp (USB +1%), PNC Financial (PNC +1.4%), KeyCorp (KEY +2.2%), Fifth Third (FITB +2.5%), Regions Financial (RF +2.9%), BB&T (BBT +2.4%), SunTrust (STI +2%)
    • MetLife (MET +2%), AIG (AIG +0.8%), Lincoln National (LNC +1.7%), Prudential (PRU +1.1%), Hartford (HIG +1.3%)
    | Wed, Nov. 30, 11:45 AM | 54 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 30, 6:53 AM
    | Wed, Nov. 30, 6:53 AM | 29 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 3:11 PM
    • More confidence that rates are rising for real this time, "wide-sweeping" regulatory changes to come, and a better FICC environment have analyst Brian Kleinhanzi upgrading Bank of America (BAC) and Goldman Sachs (GS +0.9%) to Outperform from Market Perform.
    • Kleinhanzi keeps JPMorgan (JPM +0.8%) and Bank of New York (BK +0.2%) at Outperform.
    • Turning to regional banks, KBW boosts its estimates for 2017 and 2018 for the large players, and upgrades Citizens Financial (CFG +1.9%) and Comerica (CMA +1.6%) to Outperform, while downgrading KeyCorp (KEY +0.3%) and PNC (PNC -0.2%) to Market Perform. The switch comes as KBW turns its focus on those lenders best positioned for a rising rate environment, and from regulatory relief, not to mention other levers should rates not rise.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 3:11 PM | 8 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 22, 3:33 PM
    • Looking at the top 50 hedge fund hotels, it's probably little surprise that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) top the list, with Amazon making for a top 10 holding in 61 funds, and Facebook in 57.
    • Rounding out the top 10 are Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR), Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN).
    • Looking at another gauge - the percent of market cap owned by hedge funds - shows CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM) leading the way, with hedge funds owning 37%. Next is Dell Technologies (NYSE:DVMT) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) at 30%, and after that: Liberty Broadband (NASDAQ:LBRDK) at 24%, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) at 21%, Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) at 20%, and Humana (NYSE:HUM) and WhiteWave Foods (NYSE:WWAV) at 19%.
    • Previously: Goldman's list of shorts mattering most to hedge funds (Nov. 22)
    | Tue, Nov. 22, 3:33 PM | 12 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 2:53 PM
    • Up for sale are about €1B of non-performing assets as Spain's Banco Popular speeds efforts to clean up its balance sheet.
    • Also eyeing a bid alongside Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is Bain Capital.
    • Talks are ongoing, and a deal could be reached in coming weeks.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 2:53 PM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 5:53 AM
    • U.S. lenders appear to present a bigger risk to the financial system than last year.
    • Citigroup (NYSE:C), BofA (NYSE:BAC) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) all face higher capital surcharges after they rose in the Financial Stability Board's latest ranking of the most systemically important banks in the world, while HSBC, Barclays (NYSE:BCS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) saw their buffer levels fall.
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 5:53 AM | 7 Comments