merrill lynch posts
"Compelling valuations and improving fundamentals mean that 2011 could be a strong year for shares of the biggest U.S. banks," suggests Elliott Gue.
The editor of Personal Finance explains, "To benefit from this outlook, Bank of America (BAC) is a new addition to the model Growth Portfolio.
"Bank of America suffered mightily during the financial crisis of 2007-09. Not only were the bank's legacy loan portfolios hit hard by delinquencies and charge-offs, but the company also assumed additional liabilities and credit risk when it acquired Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch.
Continue reading Bank of America Corp. (BAC): Bank on It
Forgive me if I stray slightly, but I could not help thinking about how ironic it would be if someone leaked information as to the whereabouts of Wikileaks founder and "fearless leader" Julian Assange -- who is in hiding!
It would be even more ironic if a CIA operative who had his cover blown by Wikileaks decides what goes around comes around. Let's face it, in its own way Wikileaks has become a rogue nation, so why wouldn't the CIA get involved?
In the mean time, this has probably helped world markets as it has overtaken everything else as the big story of the past 48 hours. In a bizarre way, Assange may have achieved one of his goals by bringing the world closer together, sort of.
Continue reading Serious Money: Does BAC Have Anything to Fear from Wikileaks?
Well, millionaires of the world, your club has become a bit less elite. The number of millionaires across the globe rose by an astounding 17%
in 2009, according to the 14th annual "World Wealth Report" published by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini SA. That's a lot of wealth in a time of global economic crisis.
But first, what defines a millionaire? No, having a baseball-card collection that might
fetch that kind of a price tag doesn't count (unfortunately). The way the Merrill study defines it is those households with at least $1 million in investable assets, not including
primary residences. There are now 10 million of these households in the world, up from 8.6 million in 2008.
Continue reading Number of World's Millionaires on the Rise
It all started during the financial crisis. Banks and brokerage houses were tumbling down one after another. One of the biggest was the collapse of Merrill Lynch. Bank of America (BAC) negotiated the purchase of Merrill, but there was one hitch. BofA failed to appraise its stockholders that Merrill had approved $5.8 billion in bonuses to Merrill employees.
The agreement was struck. Everything was kept under the table until the SEC started an investigation into the matter. The SEC is famous for just giving a slap on the wrist to the biggest offenders. In this case the SEC agreed that BofA should pay a measly $33 million fine.
Continue reading Judge Approves 'Half-Baked Justice' SEC Settlement with BofA
The financial crisis, employment market and social media explosion have converged, providing a new level of clarity into what is happening in the world around us. Where was ground zero for this financial catastrophe? Well, according to the LinkedIn blog, five companies have shown the most action: Barclays (BCS), Credit Suisse (CS), Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM). Interestingly, Goldman Sachs (GS), among the biggest winners now that we're pulling out from the recession, didn't see as much play.
Continue reading Financial Crisis Didn't Push Bankers from Industry, LinkedIn Reports
Late Monday, the Board of Directors at CIT Group (CIT
) announced that it plans to repay $750 million
of what it terms "high-cost" debt. The first part of this payment will be made Tuesday, totaling $750 million of its $7.5 billion first lien credit facility.
The repayment will come on a pro rata basis among the outstanding tranches, and it will be subject to a 2% payment premium. The company will prepay this debt from its available company cash, which is more than $5 billion.
Continue reading CIT Group to Repay 'High-Cost' Debt
John Thain -- whom you may recall as the man who presided over the spectacular implosion of Merrill Lynch -- is looking to have some new business cards printed up. Over the weekend, CIT Group (CIT) officially announced that its board of directors has elected Thain as chairman and CEO.
Due to his controversial past, the decision to elect Thain wasn't an easy one. After shelling out a small fortune to tart up his office digs at Merrill Lynch -- and doling out lofty bonuses amid the bank's hasty takeover by Bank of America (BAC) -- Thain became something of a poster boy for Wall Street excesses.
Continue reading John Thain Takes the Top Spot at CIT Group
At the height of the financial crisis, Bank of America (BAC) acquired Merrill Lynch for $50 billion. Over the past year, Merrill's ranks have thinned from 18,000 down to 15,000.
Merrill's "thundering herd," as it was once known, was a powerhouse dealing largely with retail customers. Interestingly enough, even with the advent of electronic trading, many wealthy clients prefer to deal directly with a broker. B of A has a big book of 17 million "mass affluent" customers who need advice and services. "Mass affluent" customers are those whose income is between $100,000 and $1 million in investable assets.
Continue reading Job Openings: Bank of America Needs 2,000 More Retail Brokers
The Securities & Exchange Commission filed new charges against Bank of America (BAC
) today, accusing the company of hiding "staggering financial losses" at Merrill Lynch prior to the consummation of the merger between the two companies.The Associated Press has details
, but there are a few interesting things about this latest development:
- Current Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was the general counsel of Bank of America at the time of the alleged disclosure improprieties. Just saying.
Continue reading SEC Brings New Charges Against Bank of America
Today started out as a down day and it stayed that way. The market tried to recover mid-morning, but that failed. The financial sector was under pressure from guidance and from fears of more reprisals out of Washington D.C. that never seem to go away. The rest of the market pressure was on earnings and a pressure of earnings warnings hitting the stocks.
Here were today's unofficial closing bell levels:
Dow 10,626.81 -37.18 (-0.35%)
S&P 500 1,136.21 -10.77 (-0.94%)
Nasdaq 2,282.31 -30.10 (-1.30%)
Top Analyst Upgrades
Top Analyst Downgrades
Continue reading Closing Bell: Earnings Season's Tough Start (AET, AA, BAC, CVX, ERTS, KBH, HIG)
Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) was shot out of a proverbial cannon Thursday morning, gaining more than 5% in the first minute of trading.
Ahead of the opening bell, Merill Lynch/Bank of America upgraded the stock to buy from neutral and lifted its price target by five bucks to $28.
The bank noted that fourth-quarter sales could be better than expected, as recent cold weather trends might send people into the stores looking to supplement their cold-weather wear. (Side note: negative 16 wind chill in Chicago today, and yes, I still love living here).
Continue reading Dick's Sporting Goods scores an upgrade
In a case of buy low, sell high, Kuwait's sovereign wealth fund just unloaded its $4.1 billion stake in Citigroup (C). In doing so, the fund scored a $1 billion profit -- and a 37% rate of return on its investment -- according to the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA).
The fund invested in Citigroup in January 2008, before the financial industry came to the brink of collapse last year, but well after the impact of the mortgage crisis had been identified. The fund also invested $2 billion in Merrill Lynch, which was acquired by Bank of America (BAC) in September 2008.
Continue reading Kuwaiti fund rakes in $1 billion profit on Citigroup sale
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