Here’s All the Top Mega-Financial Stock Stories of the Week

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s top financial industry business headlines:

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Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC): Current price $11.96

When the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made public its database of financial complaints by consumers recently, it was found that 29 percent of  the messages were reported to Bank of America, and the majority of those had to do with mortgages. In total, consumers filed 51,000 mortgage complaints with the CFPB by April 1 and approximately 15,000 of them are associated with BofA. For its part, the bank responded that “We have been intensely focused on improving the process for our mortgage servicing customers and, importantly, virtually all (98 perecent) of the mortgage-related files received from CFPB since the process was initiated have been closed.”

Chief Executive Brian T. Moynihan has called over 100 of his regional heads to a private meeting Wednesday where they will be admonished to boost the lender’s slumping revenue, according to two knowledgeable sources, who also said that managers at the two-day event in Chicago will be appraised as to the amount progress they have made in helping to sell more products to the 53 million customers of the number-two domestic lender.

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Citigroup (NYSE:C): Current price $43.02

On Monday, a Manhattan federal judge indicates that he will not automatically sign off on Citigroup’s proposed $590 million resolution of a shareholder lawsuit accusing it of concealing tens of billions of dollars of toxic mortgage assets. United States District Judge Sidney Stein asked lawyers for the bank and its shareholders to address several matters at a fairness hearing set for April 8, including requested legal fees and expenses of around $100 million, and the lack of payments by former Citigroup executives. Neither party had commented on the situation late Monday.

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Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS): Current price $143.66

The Goldman Sachs senior physical metals trader Scott Evans has exited the bank in New York, thus becoming the second high-profile member of the physical base metals team to leave since mid-March, said sources to Reuters. Evans left nearly three years after he was recruited to set up the bank’s physical base metals trading desk, which marked a move into physical trading as part of its endeavors to avert the impact of tighter regulation. A spokesman for the bank would not comment.

Goldman Sachs is introducing a specialty finance firm to invest in high-risk debt primarily of mid-sized domestic companies with no credit ratings, according to The Wall Street Journal.

President and Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn said on Wednesday that Goldman intends to grow the base of corporate clients it covers in Brazil by 50 percent in 2013, as demand for corporate loans, structured finance, and advisory services increases in Latin America’s largest economy. The Wall Street company expects to serve about 300 companies by December, about 100 more than it does currently, according to Cohn at a news conference in São Paulo. During the past year, Goldman Sachs has doubled the capital base of its Brazilian division and hired aggressively to expand in the country to compete with tough local rivals, while rivalry from international financial firms slows.

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Security National Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SNFCA): Current price $7.92

The corporation has posted its financial results for the year ended December 31, with revenues of $234,260,000, pre-tax earnings from operations increased from a gain of $1.237 million in 2011 to a eye-popping gain of $21.351 million in 2012. Net after tax earnings for the twelve month period skyrocketed by 1,187 percent from $1,299,000 to $16,713,000.

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SNFCA

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CME Group (NASDAQ:CME): Current price $59.50

The derivatives marketplace reported Tuesday that its March 2013 volume averaged 12.5 million contracts per day, which was flat compared year-over-year with 2012. Total volume for March 2013 was over 249 million contracts, of which 88 percent was traded electronically. First-quarter 2013 volume averaged 12.5 million contracts per day, up by 1 percent year-over-year. Highlights included record quarterly futures and options volume in the British Pound, Japanese Yen, Ultra Treasury Bond, longer-dated Eurodollar, and live cattle contracts.

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CME

MetLife (NYSE:MET): Current price $36.58

The insurance giant MetLife is said by a number of sources to be considering bringing hundreds of additional jobs to the big banking center Charlotte, on top of the 1,350-employee expansion it announced in March, says Charlotte Business Journal. The sources also said that an announcement might come as soon as this week, and that MetLife could eventually bring as many as 1,000 additional jobs to the area, moving the total company employment in Charlotte to an excess of 2,000.

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MET

Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE:FBC): Current price $14.49

The firm was ordered on Monday to pay an additional $17.3 million to the bond insurer Assured Guaranty in a lawsuit, which  alleges that the bank misrepresented the quality of loans bundled into $900 million worth of mortgage-backed securities. United States District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan ordered the payout, which brings Flagstar’s total liability to $106.5 million. A copy of the order was made available to Reuters.

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FBC

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM): Current price $47.91

Because of a measure finalized by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, J.P. Morgan Chase and Barclays, along with other banks will now be exempt from Dodd-Frank Act swap market rules when trading between or among their own affiliates, says Bloomberg. The new rule forms a part of the commission’s mandate to reduce risk and expand transparency in the $639 trillion-global swaps market.

J.P. Morgan saw the dismissal of almost the entirety of a lawsuit claiming that it misled the Belgian-French bank Dexia into buying over $1.6 billion worth of troubled mortgage debt. United States District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan on Wednesday made public his ruling that is a victory for the largest domestic bank and Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, removing some 99 percent of the potential damages. Dexia’s case gained notoriety after emails and other materials were divulged that suggested the bank and its affiliates knew the residential mortgage-backed securities they were selling were toxic, but sold them regardless. Judge Rakoff said that he would explain the reasons for his decision “in due course.”

One of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.’s most senior bankers in Asia Pacific, Kester Ng, is exiting investment banking following over 20 years in the industry, according to a knowledgeable source. Ng served most recently as J.P. Morgan’s chairman of Asian equity capital markets, which he held for more than a year. He joined the firm seven years ago from Merrill Lynch.

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JPM

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MBIA (NYSE:MBI): Current price $10.30

MBIA, the bond insurer that has brought a lawsuit against Bank of America Corporation to recover losses connected with mortgage loans, won an appeals decision ruling that the lender can be forced to buy securitized loans back even if they are not in default. A New York state appeals panel ruled in a decision Tuesday that MBIA is entitled to have BofA repurchase a performing loan that it can prove “materially and adversely” affected its interest, a decision that reverses part of a ruling by a lower court. For good measure, panel also reversed a decision that MBIA could seek so-called rescissory damages.

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MBI


Credit Suisse Group (NYSE:CS): Current price $26.45

The Swiss superbank has requested that the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan throw out a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that accuses it of deceiving investors in mortgage-backed securities in 2006 and 2007 that led to in $11.2 billion of losses. On Monday, Credit Suisse said that the attorney general waited too long, was precluded by federal law, and was insufficiently specific in detailing the alleged wrongdoing to allow the case to go forward. The banks’ attorneys wrote that “it is striking how threadbare the allegations are even with all of the extra time the NYAG took to file it.” However, the attorney general’s office professes to be confident that it will prevail.

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Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:ARCC) Current price $17.54

Ares intends to make a public offering of 16.65 million shares of its common stock, and will also allow the underwriters an option to buy up to an additional 2,497,500 shares. The offering will be made under Ares Capital’s shelf registration statement, which was filed with, and declared effective by, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Proceeds will be used to repay debt and for general corporate purposes.

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ARCC

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Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD): Current price $79.60

On Wednesday, TD Bank Group President and Chief Executive Ed Clark announced that he will retire as CEO effective November 1, 2014 at age 67, following 12 years of service in that position. He will remain a director until TD’s 2015 Annual Meeting. According to the Group’s succession plan, the board said that Bharat Masrani will become chief operating officer, TD Bank Group reporting to Clark effective July 1, 2013.

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ING Groep (NYSE:ING): Current price $7.36

The Edmonton Journal reports that hundreds of customers at ING’s Dutch arm are complaining on  social media their bank accounts are abruptly showing incorrect amounts. On Wednesday, phone lines at the firm’s press office were jammed, but through its official Dutch Twitter account, ING responded to a steady stream of user messages, saying that accounts are actually showing correct amounts. However, transfers in and out of accounts are seeing delays. The firm has said that ”ING is doing everything it can to resolve this as soon as possible.”

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ING

NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. (NYSE:NRF): Current price $9.49

NorthStar announced Wednesday that it has begun an underwritten public offering of its new Series D Preferred Stock. the firm will also grant the underwriters a 30-day option to buy additional shares solely to cover any over-allotments. Citigroup and UBS Investment Bank are acting as the joint book-running managers of the offering.

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NRF

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC): Current price $37.13

The company’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by investors who said it failed in its role as trustee for debt issued by a financing company, which went under in 2009, was turned down by United States District Judge David Carter in Santa Ana, California. In a decision filling 50 pages, the judge made the way for a possible trial against the fourth-largest U.S. bank regarding its dealings with Medical Capital Holdings. Carter also ruled outright for the investors on certain claims in the class action and dismissed other claims against Wells Fargo.

Analyst Vivek Juneja at J.P. Morgan Chase believes that although Wells Fargo is faced a large slump in mortgage origination income, almost all of that decline will be outweighed by other mortgage items.  Out of the Big Four domestic banks, also including J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America Corporation and Citigroup, Wells Fargo has outperformed, with returns on average assets climbing steadily during the past four years, from 0.97 percent to 1.41 percent, says Thomson Reuters Bank Insight. Further, in the same period, the bank’s return on average tangible common equity ranged from 16.32 percent to 16.95 percent.

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Barclays Bank (NYSE:BCS): Current price $17.37

The bank announced that following the close on April 12, there will be no changes to the constituents in the Atlantic Trust Select MLP Index. Barclays ETN+ Select MLP Exchange Traded Note is connected with the performance of the volume-weighted average price of the Index. The ETN was listed on the NYSE Arca stock exchange in March, under the ticker symbol ATMP. In compliance with the Index methodology as described in the prospectus relating to the ETN, the Index is rebalanced quarterly. The 23 constituents of the Index will be rebalanced on a capped, float-adjusted, capitalization-weighted basis throughout four index business days beginning on Friday April 12.

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BCS

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NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX): Closing price $38.26

France would like for banks to create a group of core shareholders in the Euronext European stock market operator, if it gets spun off in 2014 in a public offering but faces opposition from lenders, according to the French daily Les Echos, which cited an inside source as saying that Paris would like a group of banks to enter Euronext’s capital through a private placement at the time of the public offering. The aim is to secure a stable shareholder structure for Euronext, which operates the Brussels, Paris, Amsterdam and Lisbon exchanges, sheltering it from potential takeover attempts.

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NYX

MetLife (NYSE:MET): Closing price $36.58

On Friday, the insurer announced that Cetera Advisor Networks will purchase Tower Square Securities and Walnut Street Securities. Financials of the transaction were not reported. Tower Square Securities and Walnut Street Securities are independent broker-dealer affiliates of MetLife. All told, the parties had roughly $25 billion in assets under management and 850 advisors as of December 31. Cetera Advisor Networks is one of four broker-dealers owned by Cetera Financial Group, which is one of the country’s biggest privately-held, independent broker-dealer and investment advisor families.

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MET

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