US FINANCIAL MARKET
- Boeing’s safety upgrades to the 787 Dreamliner’s battery systems may allow commercial flights to restart within weeks.
- Siemens will not be able to spin off its lighting division in April, the earliest date for the planned listing, because of legal action by a handful of investors challenging the move.
- Samsung premiered its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, which sports a bigger display and unconventional features such as gesture controls. The S4 will be available by the end of April. All four major US carriers will offer the device.
- Wheat rose for a sixth straight day after a government report showed that export demand for U.S. wheat was stronger than expected last week.
- The barrage of bad news for JPMorgan, long seen as the safest and best-managed U.S. bank, could taint the reputation of the bank.
- JPMorgan ignored risks, misled investors, fought with regulators and tried to work around rules as it dealt with mushrooming losses in a derivatives portfolio, a Senate report alleged in a damning review.
- The Fed’s so-called “stress tests tells each bank whether it’s allowed to raise its dividend, the quarterly payoutit gives to stockholders, or buy back more of its own shares. Overall, the Fed approved requests outright from 14 of the banks. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs need better plans for coping with a severe recession, the Fed said, giving the banks until September to revise them.
- American Express received approval to raise its quarterly dividend to 23 cents per share from 20 cents, and to buy back up to $4.2 billion of its own stock.
- Bank of America received approval to buy back $5 billion of its own stock. It did not ask to raise its quarterly dividend.
- Citigroup received approval to buy back $1.2 billion of its own stock. It did not ask to raise its quarterly dividend.
- JPMorgan received approval to raise its quarterly dividend to 38 cents per share, up from 30 cents, and to buy back up to $6 billion of its own stock. The bank will have to resubmit its capital plan.
- Wells Fargo received approval to raise its quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share from 25 cents.
- Morgan Stanley received approval to finish buying the remaining 35 percent of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. It did not ask to raise its dividend or buy back stock.
US ECONOMY & POLITICS
- The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for March fell to 71.8, the lowest level since December 2011, from 77.6 in February.
- Consumer prices recorded their largest increase in nearly four years in February as the cost of gasoline surged. CPI increased 0.7 percent last month. In the 12 months through February, consumer prices rose 2.0 percent.
- Industrial production grew 0.7 percent last month, by most in three months. Manufacturing output rose 0.8 percent during the month.
- Industry capacity utilization, a measure of how fully firms are using their resources, rose to 79.6 percent in February. That was the highest average since March 2008 when it was 80.1 percent.
- The Empire manufacturing survey, covering manufacturers in New York State, posted a strong +9.2, slightly below consensus in March, but remained solid.
- JPMorgan more than doubled its forecast for U.S. home price gains in 2013 to 7 percent this week, and predicts a more than 14 percent increase through 2015.
- Bank of America said last week property values will jump 8 percent this year, up from a prior estimate of 4.7 percent.
- The Pentagon is spending nearly a $1 billion a year on a program that sends unemployment checks to former troops who left the military voluntarily.
- International purchases of U.S. stocks, bonds and other financial assets rose less than forecast in January as confidence grew that Europe was emerging from its debt crisis. Net buying of long-term financial assets totaled $25.7 billion during the month, down from net purchases of $64.2 billion in December, the Treasury Department said.
- European stocks rose to an almost five-year high this week as policy makers gathered for a two-day summit. European Union leaders indicated in a draft statement that they may grant countries such as France, Spain and Portugal extra time to bring down deficits.
- China remained the biggest foreign owner of U.S. Treasuries in January after its holdings rose $44.1 billion to $1.26 trillion, according to the Treasury. Japan, the second-largest holder, was little changed at $1.1 trillion in holdings.
EUROPE & WORLD
- The bailout lenders — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission — agreed to grant Portugal an extra year, until 2015, to get its budget deficit below 3 percent. Portugal needed a €78 billion ($101 billion) rescue in May 2011.
- Cyprus needs as much as €17 billion ($21.99 billion) — equivalent to the country’s entire economic output. But because of doubts that Cyprus could pay back such a sum, the bailout lenders are now offering something closer to €10 billion. That means Cyprus would have to scrounge up cash from other sources, such as Russia.
TODAY in HISTORY
- On the “Ides of March,” Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate house by a group of conspirators led by Cimber, Casca, Cassius, and Marcus Junius Brutus (44 B.C.).
- Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first visit to the Western Hemisphere (1493).
- Maine became the 23rd state (1820).
- Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia, is forced to abdicate his throne (1917).
- The first hospital blood bank in the United States was established, in Chicago, at Cook County Hospital (1937).
- CBS television inaugurated its Morning Show. The host was “The most trusted man in America,” Walter Cronkite (1954).
- President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress for legislation guaranteeing every American the right to vote (1965).
- Scientists reported the discovery of Sedna, the most distant object in our solar system (2004)
- Sedna also distinguishes itself as the largest object identified since Pluto’s discovery in 1930. About three-quarters of the size of Pluto.
Sources: Reuters, Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, Bloomberg, CNN Money.
This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable, but no representation is being made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information provided should be used only as general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. The economic forecasts set forth in the material may not develop as predicted. All indices, such as the S & P 500, are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.