Wells Fargo Reports Earnings Rose 4%

Wells Fargo & Co.’s profit rose 4% in the final three months of the year. The San Francisco-based lender said Friday that it made $2.99 billion in the fourth quarter, up from $2.87 billion a year earlier. Per-share profit totaled 64 cents, compared with analyst forecasts of 59 cents. Wells Fargo’s results reflect a topsy-turvy year in which the pandemic-induced recession forced lenders to sock away tens of billions of dollars to prepare for a wave of soured loans. The bank released $757 million from its pile of reserves in the fourth quarter, largely because it sold a book of student […]

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JPMorgan Profit Soars 42% After Bank Releases Reserves for Bad Loans

JPMorgan Chase & Co. posted its highest-ever quarterly profit after releasing $2.9 billion in funds it had set aside to cover soured loans. The bank’s profit jumped 42% to $12.14 billion, or $3.79 per share, far past the $2.62 per share forecast by analysts polled by FactSet. A year earlier, JPMorgan had reported a quarterly profit of $8.52 billion, or $2.57 a share. The nation’s biggest bank reported revenue of $29.22 billion for the quarter, up 3% from a year earlier and topping analysts’ expectations for $28.67 billion. For the full year, through an economic spiral and an uneven recovery, JPMorgan […]

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Insurers Face Big Payouts to U.K. Businesses Over Covid Disruptions

LONDON—In a resounding win for insurance policyholders, the U.K. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that insurers must pay out disputed claims related to the coronavirus to a range of businesses, ending a legal case spanning months and potentially setting a precedent for other jurisdictions. The Supreme Court dismissed insurers’ appeals brought after a High Court ruling in September found mostly in favor of policyholders. The Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s securities watchdog, had brought that test case to resolve uncertainties surrounding business-interruption cover. The case has been watched closely, as millions of companies world-wide lodge claims and grapple with their insurance […]

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JPMorgan, Palantir, Poshmark: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens Today

Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Friday’s opening bell. —U.S. stock futures edged lower as some investors grew concerned that President-elect Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan could lead to higher taxes. Futures tied to the S&P 500 fell 0.4%, putting the benchmark on course to decline for a second day. Contracts tied to the Nasdaq-100 edged less than 0.2% lower and those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.4%. Read our full market wrap here. What’s Coming Up —Corporate earnings season kicks into high gear with updates due before the bell from Citigroup and Wells Fargo . Retail sales for December […]

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Ant Group Is Moving Quickly to Comply With Regulations, China’s Central Bank Says

Chinese financial-technology giant Ant Group Co. is working expediently to rectify its business practices and comply with regulatory requirements, a top central bank official said on Friday. Chen Yulu, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, said at a press briefing that Ant has set up a working group to address problems recently flagged by Chinese regulators. He said the Hangzhou-based company is developing a timetable to implement various changes, and Ant is maintaining close communications with financial regulators while keeping its business running as usual. The central bank’s update came about three weeks after it chastised Ant for the […]

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When Some Investors Look at Stocks They See Dollars, Not Shares

Purchasing a piece of Apple or Tesla once meant calculating how many shares you could afford to buy. That no longer matters. Now you can pay whatever you’re willing to spend, even if that amounts to pocket change. Thinking primarily about dollars instead of shares represents a dramatic shift in the world of personal finance, posing new opportunities and risks for investors. The practice is gaining momentum thanks to the widespread adoption of fractional trading—which allows investors to purchase slivers of traditional shares—as well as an industry push to reduce online trading fees to zero. These twin developments made it easier […]

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Covid-19 Vaccinations Give Shot in Arm to Israeli Stocks

The fastest Covid-19 vaccination rollout in the world is drawing investors to Israel, making its stock market one of the top performers in 2021. Israel’s benchmark TA-125 stock index has gained nearly 6% this year in dollar terms, outperforming both the S&P 500 and the eurozone’s Euro Stoxx Index. Last year, the TA-125 didn’t fare as well as either of those gauges, rising just 4.3% in dollar terms. Investors are betting Israel’s widespread rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will put it among the forerunners for a post-pandemic economic recovery. The small country—whose roughly nine million population is about the size of New […]

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U.S. Bans Americans From Investing in Xiaomi but Spares Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu

Smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp. became the latest Chinese technology group to be targeted by the Trump administration, with its surprise addition to a U.S. investment blacklist sending its shares sharply lower. The addition of Xiaomi wrong-footed analysts and investors. Xiaomi, a consumer electronics company that focuses on mobile phones and household appliances, had managed to avoid U.S. pressure even as Washington tightened the screws on Chinese tech groups including Huawei Technologies Co., seeking to curb their access to American technology and funding. Xiaomi’s stock has more than doubled in the past 12 months and the company has been rapidly gaining market […]

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