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  • Wed, Nov. 9, 9:47 AM
    | Wed, Nov. 9, 9:47 AM | 12 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 22, 12:17 PM
    • U.S. equity capital markets volume of $158.6B through Sept. 19 is down from $236.6B in the same period one year ago, and the weakest in more than 20 years, according to Dealogic.
    • It's led to a commensurate drop in equity capital market fees - just $3.7B this year vs. more than $7B in 2015. Another gauge is equity capital market fees as a percent of U.S. investment-banking revenue, and that's dropped to 15.4% from more than 20% last year.
    • The main reason, writes Maureen Farrell, is cheap capital. Barely visible interest rates and a thirst for yield mean companies have a variety of options beyond an IPO to raise capital. Just 68 companies have gone public in the U.S. this year vs. 138 through the same period last  year.
    • That decline is especially painful for banks as IPO underwriting is the highest-margin product in their equity operation.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, KCE, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, JHMF, FAZZ, FNCF
    | Thu, Sep. 22, 12:17 PM
  • Fri, Sep. 16, 3:23 PM
    • SPDR Global Dow ETF (NYSEARCA:DGT) - $0.3732. 30-Day Sec yield of 2.33%.
    • SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KBE) - $0.1476. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.66%.
    • SPDR S&P Capital Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:KCE) - $0.2271. 30-Day Sec yield of 2.27%.
    • SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (NYSEARCA:KIE) - $0.2847. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.56%.
    • SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEARCA:KRE) - $0.1934. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.71%.
    • SPDR S&P 400 Mid Cap Value ETF (NYSEARCA:MDYV) - $0.4407. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.87%.
    • SPDR Morgan Stanley Technology ETF (NYSEARCA:MTK) - $0.1251. 30-Day Sec yield of 0.95%.
    • SPDR Russell 1000 ETF (NYSEARCA:ONEK) - $0.4978. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.95%.
    • Payable Sept. 26; for shareholders of record Sept. 20; ex-div Sept. 16. 30-Day SEC yield as of 9/15/2016.
    | Fri, Sep. 16, 3:23 PM
  • Wed, Sep. 14, 8:29 AM
    • Despite slashing billions in costs and pulling back from what were once key businesses since the financial crisis, banks haven't done enough, says a new report from McKinsey and Co.
    • "The inescapable reality is that the industry’s restructuring efforts to date have failed to produce sustainable performance ... A more fundamental change is required, based on the realization that for most banks, the traditional model of global capital markets and investment banking is no longer an option."
    • The top 10 global banks produced just 7% ROE in 2015. Capital market and investment banking revenue have declined 10% since 2012 to $144B as the big players have lost market share to regional and local banks, where revenue has gone up 14% over that same time frame.
    • McKinsey's suggestions for better returns: Sell products individually instead of bundled; better allocation of balance sheets; utilizing digital technology and robotics; participating in industry utilities to cut costs; addressing risk and conduct among bank employees.
    • The report takes note of industries like telecom, semiconductors, and autos that have restructured their way to better profits.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, KCE, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, JHMF, FAZZ, FNCF
    | Wed, Sep. 14, 8:29 AM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Jun. 17, 6:56 PM
    • SPDR Russell 2000 ETF (NYSEARCA:TWOK$0.2975. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.56%.
    • SPDR S&P 500 Buyback ETF (NYSEARCA:SPYB$0.1817. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.60%.
    • SPDR S&P 400 Mid Cap Growth ETF (NYSEARCA:MDYG$0.3426. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.11%.
    • SPDR Russell 2000 Low Vol ETF (NYSEARCA:SMLV$0.4980. 30-Day Sec yield of 2.72%.
    • SPDR Global Dow ETF (NYSEARCA:DGT$0.6700. 30-Day Sec yield of 2.59%.
    • SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEARCA:KBE$0.1460. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.88%.
    • SPDR S&P Capital Markets ETF (NYSEARCA:KCE$0.2379. 30-Day Sec yield of 2.36%.
    • SPDR S&P Insurance ETF (NYSEARCA:KIE$0.2803. 30-Day Sec yield of 1.53%.
    • Payable June 27; for shareholders of record June 21; ex-div June 17. 30-Day Sec yield as of 6/16/16.
    | Fri, Jun. 17, 6:56 PM
  • Wed, Jun. 1, 8:35 AM
    • "Transformational" cost savings in which investment banks cut their way to earning their cost of capital is a "pipe dream," says Boston Consulting Group, with just a handful having a chance of success.
    • Bankers dream about merging swaths of back-office and mid-office functions into a "industry utility," but the dreams are just that thanks to governance issues, says BCG.
    • But what about the blockchain? Still in its infancy, says BCG, "and cannot be counted on for an imminent solution to realize efficiencies."
    • Source: FT
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, KCE, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, JHMF, FAZZ, FNCF
    | Wed, Jun. 1, 8:35 AM
  • Thu, May 12, 5:40 AM
    • While 2015 was a record-breaking year for M&A, 2016 so far will go down as what could have been. Nearly $400B of deals - most recently the Staples/Office Depot merger - have fallen apart so far this year, according to Dealogic, whether thanks to regulators, rocky markets, or reluctant targets. Even if no other deals fall through for the rest of the year, that amount would still be a record.
    • It's bad news for banks - particularly as business continues to slow in areas like trading. Also, advisors typically only pocket most of their money when deals close, meaning there's been a lot work for naught this year.
    • The breakups of just the Pfizer/Allergan, Halliburton/Baker Hughes, and Staples/Office Depot deals cost banks more than $300B in advisory fees (and potentially much more than that).
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, KCE, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, FAZZ
    | Thu, May 12, 5:40 AM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Apr. 21, 12:13 PM
    • Years after Dodd-Frank passed, regulators still haven't agreed on an oversight plan for the country's too big to fail banks. A proposal put out for public comment today from the National Credit Union Administration would force top management to wait at least four years before collecting most bonus pay, and would allow for clawbacks (up to seven years later) in the event of future losses.
    • The NCUA is one of six agencies that would have to adopt the rule.
    • The thinking behind this sort of proposal are skewed pre-crisis incentives in which managers were in a "heads I win, tails I don't lose" situation, and thus had no qualms about taking on excessive risk.
    • This new proposal is significantly tougher than a version in 2011 which was scrapped after much criticism.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, KCE, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, FAZZ
    | Thu, Apr. 21, 12:13 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Apr. 13, 11:31 AM
    • JPMorgan's revenues and profits both fell from a year ago, but the lame performance of the banks thus far this year has already priced in a weak quarter. JPMorgan is higher by 3.8%, with Citigroup (C +4.7%), Bank of America (BAC +3.5%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.7%), Goldman Sachs (GS +2.9%), and Morgan Stanley (MS +4.4%) joining the party. The XLF is higher by 1.75% vs. the S&P 500's 0.7% advance.
    • But what about all of these players (except for Citi) having their living wills rejected by the Fed, FDIC, or both? A sideshow, no doubt. Regulators are going to regulate - like the commercial goes, "It's what they do." Banks will tweak plans, numbers, or whatever they need to in order to get D.C. to eventually sign off.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, FNCL, SEF, FXO, RYF, KCE, FINU, RWW, XLFS, FINZ, FAZZ
    | Wed, Apr. 13, 11:31 AM | 24 Comments
  • Thu, Mar. 24, 12:07 PM
    • "If you're not inside, you're outside," famously said Gordon Gekko.
    • At the top of a secret list at Citigroup (NYSE:C) is the "Focus Five" - a group of hedge funds that bring in big dollars to the bank: Millennium, Citadel, Surveyor Capital, Point72, and Carlson Capital. These lucrative clients get the best service - top trade ideas, hours-long phone calls with analysts, intimate get-togethers with executives, bespoke trading models, and more.
    • It's part of a new model on Wall Street, with banks backing off the "we-do-everything" model to cater to those select few who generate the most revenue. Players like Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and HSBC are joining Citigroup in focusing on this 1% of the 1%.
    • “It’s a rude awakening when you find out that research isn’t readily available," says Jeff Sica, who manages "only" about $1.5B.
    • Smaller banks too. Stifel Financial (NYSE:SF) has a "Blackjack" list of its top 21 clients, through CEO Ron Kruszewski says it's not currently in use.
    • In today's world, banks have little choice. Hamstrung by the new regulatory environment, barely visible rates, and a lame trading environment, using gates to research to encourage more business is a rare avenue of revenue growth.
    • ETFs: IAI, KCE
    | Thu, Mar. 24, 12:07 PM | 16 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 18, 4:20 PM
    | Fri, Mar. 18, 4:20 PM
  • Thu, Mar. 17, 2:44 PM
    • Increasingly negative policy rates overseas, lame global growth, high financial market volatility, and now a Fed on pace to hike substantially less than hoped ... "None of this is likely supportive of financials sector relative performance," say Wells Fargo's Gina Adams and Peter Chung, downgrading banks from Overweight to Market Weight, and capital markets to Underweight from Market Weight.
    • The only group the team likes as Overweight is insurance, which is likely to show the strongest earnings this year (hard to fathom given low rates).
    • The bank's analysts cover 70 of 90 names in the S&P 500 financials sector, with just 28 of those 70 rated Outperform.
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, KRE, UYG, VFH, KBE, IYF, BTO, KIE, IAT, IYG, IAK, SEF, FNCL, FXO, KBWB, QABA, RYF, KBWR, FINU, KCE, KRU, RWW, KBWP, KBWC, KBWI, FINZ, KRS, XLFS
    | Thu, Mar. 17, 2:44 PM | 8 Comments
  • Wed, Mar. 16, 12:24 PM
    • "Q1 is normally our strongest quarter and it hasn't been very strong," Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan told an investment conference earlier today.
    • There's apparently "good" volatility - which boosts trading revenue - and "bad" volatility, which does the opposite, and Q1 was mostly the "bad" kind. According to analytics firm Tricumen, FICC revenue at banks is expected to fall to $19.2B in Q1 of this year. That's the worst Q1 in four years and down from $22.6B a year ago, and $30B in 2012.
    • "Bad" volatility: "There are more and more signs of fragmentation and liquidity is drying up. Banks are still deleveraging and are required to hold greater capital against their balance sheets ... it's difficult for our customers to make money," says the head of FICC trading at a top-tier bank. "Macro hedge funds are really struggling, and when our customers don't make money, we struggle."
    • Speaking at the same conference, UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti: "We and the industry are facing unprecedented headwinds ... Industry activity levels in investment banking advisory have slowed markedly year on year."
    • Previously: Credit Suisse tumbles as management pulls out of conference (March 16)
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, SEF, FNCL, FXO, RYF, FINU, KCE, RWW, KBWC, FINZ, XLFS
    | Wed, Mar. 16, 12:24 PM
  • Tue, Mar. 15, 8:45 AM
    • "Our overall Q1 results reflect an exceptionally volatile and turbulent market environment during our first fiscal quarter," says Jefferies (NYSE:LUK) CEO Richard Handler. "A quiet December was followed by an extremely challenging January and first few weeks of February."
    • The investment bank posted a loss of $166.8M in Q1 vs. a profit of $12.9M a year ago. Revenue of $299M fell a full 49%, led by an 82% plunge in trading revenue to $58.8M. Of this, fixed-income revenue fell to $56.8M from $126M. Equity trading revenue fell to just $1.7M from $203.5M thanks to markdowns on two equity block trades.
    • Good times ahead: Not only have markets stabilized, says management, they've "aggressively snapped back" in the early part of Q2.
    • Coming one month ahead of the rest of the Wall Street banks, Jefferies results are often seen as a bellwether of what to expect. It sounds like Goldman (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), CItigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) have the month of March to make up for what was a very lame start to the quarter.
    • ETFs: IAI, KCE, KBWC
    | Tue, Mar. 15, 8:45 AM | 31 Comments
  • Fri, Mar. 11, 9:33 AM
    • "If you follow the math you can't reach any other conclusion," says Stanford Profesor Darrell Duffie, who's work previously spurred changes in how banks value credit risk and debt.
    • Swaps deals are funded with money borrowed from the bank's treasury, and that cost is deducted from the derivatives' value. That's wrong, says Duffie. Banks instead should charge trading partners more up-front, thus freeing up capital for, say, dividends.
    • Duffie hasn't yet shown the paper to any Wall Street executives. “I imagine there’s going to be some howling by the banks because they think their accounting practices are right."
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, BTO, IAI, IYG, SEF, FNCL, FXO, RYF, FINU, KCE, RWW, KBWC, FINZ, XLFS
    | Fri, Mar. 11, 9:33 AM
  • Mon, Feb. 8, 2:24 PM
    • It is the European banks and contagion concerns that are freaking out the markets today - not just the Fed, China and crude oil - according to David Rosenberg, noting that some of the European banks are trading at 2008 crisis levels after the group has tumbled 18% YTD vs. 11% for the STOXX 600 index.
    • European financial firms are taking a beating amid fears of "a chronic profitability crisis that makes it impossible for banks to build up barely-adequate capital bases," WSJ reports.
    • Deutsche Bank (DB -9.8%) is down another ~10%, bringing its YTD loss to nearly 40% while its valuation has fallen to ~30% of book value, and its credit default swaps spiked to their highest levels since 2012.
    • News of major withdrawals out of Credit Suisse (CS -4.2%) caused its shares to sink 11% last week, hitting a 24-year low, and Santander (SAN -6.2%), BBVA (BBVA -5.4%), and UniCredit (OTCPK:UNCFF -5.5%) are down to lows seen during the last eurozone financial crisis.
    • "Oil and the flatter yield curve alone do not explain the 12% plunge we have seen in S&P Financials so far this year," Rosenberg says, adding that BofA (BAC -6.1%), Citigroup (C -6.2%) and Wells Fargo (WFC -3.5%) all briefly touched 52-week lows last week - "an ominous signpost."
    • ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, PSP, IYF, EUFN, BTO, IPF, IAI, IYG, SEF, FNCL, FXO, PFI, IXG, PEX, RYF, FINU, KCE, RWW, KBWC
    • Earlier: Markets extend two-day rout; gold gets 3% boost
    | Mon, Feb. 8, 2:24 PM | 36 Comments
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