4 Financial Stock Stories Gaining Thursday Traction

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): Current price $26.18

On Thursday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said that Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney will pay a $1 million penalty as well as compensate harmed investors. This is to resolve civil charges that the bank did not provide customers with the optimal market prices for some corporate and municipal bonds.

The regulator said that the parties would pay the fine, along with about $188,000 in restitution for the various pricing violations, which happened between January 2008 through September 2011. Morgan Stanley resolved the case without admitting or denying the charges by FINRA, which self-polices the brokerage industry.

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC): Current price $42.23

Wells Fargo sent 60-day notices to around 2,300 mortgage employees in its mortgage business on Wednesday, marking what many believe is the most recent indication that the mortgage refinancing boom has cooled off.

In a statement, the bank said that the layoffs will be at “locations across the country,” without giving further details other than the action was necessary because demand for mortgage refinancing had fallen compared to 2012 and early 2013. Wells Fargo is the top lender in the United States, and its results have been boosted in recent quarters by scads of homeowners refinancing their loans to exploit low interest rates.

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The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE:GS): Current price $158.73

Goldman Sachs is among three investment banks that the German residential landlord GSW Immobilien has hired to advise it on a $2.4-billion takeover bid from its competitor Deutsche Wohnen, according to two inside sources to Reuters on Thursday.

Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Dutch bank Kempen will supply an unbiased appraisal of the offer, examining possible counter bids but not necessarily discouraging Deutsche Wohnen. Such an acquisition would be Germany’s second-largest residential real estate deal since Whitehall purchased LEG Immobilien in 2008.

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Barclays (NYSE:BCS): Current price $17.78

Banks that include Barclays are reserving more than a combined £12 billion to cover fines and settlements. Some of the largest banks and credit card companies in the United Kingdom will have to pay a total of as much as £1.3 billion to customers who were sold inappropriate financial products, according to a regulator on Thursday.

This compensation is the most recent in a series of penalties that British banks have been required to pay, resulting from actions taken during the financial crisis. It constitutes a further blow to chief executives who are endeavoring to rehabilitate bank reputations. Banks have also paid regulatory fines connected with the Libor scandal.

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