Berkshire Hathaway CEO Optimistic About Banks and 4 Hot Stocks on the Move

American International Group (NYSE:AIG): Current price $35.58

The American International Group (NYSE:AIG) decided that it would stay away from a $25 billion lawsuit filed by former chief executive, Maurice R Greenberg, against the federal government claiming its $182 billion financial crisis bailout of AIG was prejudicial to the company’s shareholders. AIG’s board met with Greenberg as well as senior officials from the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Wednesday. In an internal memo to employees Robert H. Benmosche, A.I.G.’s chief executive and a director said, “The board’s decision today was about continuing to move this company forward, not backward. We as a company have kept our promise to return every dollar America invested in us, plus a substantial profit.” Separately, Greenberg and his company Starr International announced they would not sue AIG for its decision not to join that law suit against the government.

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JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) Current Price $45.87

JP Morgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) will pay about $2 billion to compensate borrowers by way of mortgage relief as well as cash settlements regarding claims against it of home loan abuse. The amount forms part of the $8.5 billion deal between regulators and 10 major banks announced earlier this week. JP Morgan will book $700 million of the above amount as a charge in the fourth quarter.

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Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB): Current Price $49.19

Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) has categorically denied allegations by the Wall Street Journal that it made a profit of at least € 500 million out of rates linked to the London Interbank Offered Rate (or, LIBOR). A former employee of the bank is said to have informed regulators of employees’ concerns regarding the risk assumed on these trades, which the bank allegedly brushed off because it was confident it could manipulate the rates in its favour.

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Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) Closing Price $140,417.00

“Our banking system is in the best shape in recent memory,” said Warren Buffett in a phone interview last week. He said the country’s major banks have rebuilt capital by selling assets, cutting costs and repaying taxpayer bailouts, and therefore did not pose a threat to the US economy. On concerns regarding risks lurking within banks’ balance sheets Buffett said that the excesses on the asset side had been mostly cleared off. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA) owns a sizeable investments in the country’s largest banks.

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Urban Outfitters Inc (NASDAQ:URBN) Closing Price $42.55

Lifestyle specialty retail company, Urban Outfitters Inc (NASDAQ:URBN) reported that sales for the two months ended December 31, 2012 rose 15% year-on-year to $666 million. Increased sales were driven by comparable retail segment sales growth of 33% at Free People, 10% at Urban Outfitters and 5% at Anthropologie. Direct-to-consumer net sales increased by 38% and wholesale segment net sales increased 21%.

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