With our investment news briefs, Money Morning provides investors with a quick overview of the most important investing news stories from all around the world.
JPMorgan Q3 Earnings Lift Markets; BofA Testing New Fees; China Curbing Steel Production; Bloomberg to Acquire BusinessWeek; House Working on Regulatory Legislations; Japan PPI Down 7.9%; Pay Czar: Lower Pay at AIG; European Stocks Hit Year High
- Third-quarter net income for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was more than six times that of the year earlier, as the investment bank exceeded analysts' earnings expectations, Reuters reported. Net income for the quarter clocked in at $3.6 billion, or 82 cents a share, compared with $525 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year earlier. Despite posting $7 billion in loan losses, up from $3.3 billion from a year earlier, JPMorgan's earnings lifted U.S. stock markets in trading yesterday (Wednesday).
- Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) said it would . Fees will range from $29 to $99, and customers selected for them will be based on "risk and profitability," which means that customers who've never incurred interest charges or late fees could be slapped with a fee, The Associated Press reported. Customers can refuse the fee, but would also have to close their account and risk a blow to their credit score and available credit.
- Faced with a "severe oversupply" of steel, China plans to curb its production capacity, the general manager of Wuhan Iron & Steel Group told Bloomberg News. "The government will impose strict measures to effectively close outdated mills and boost consolidation," Deng Qilin said while attending the World Steel Association in Beijing. "We bigger players will surely benefit from such a move."
- Bloomberg L.P. agreed to buy BusinessWeek magazine from publisher The McGraw-Hill Cos. (NYSE: MHP) for a price tag believed to be between $2 million and $5 million, MarketWatch reported. The acquisition comes when many magazines have folded and are in danger of folding. "The acquisition of BusinessWeek will strengthen Bloomberg's online, television and mobile products," said Peter Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg.
- The U.S. House Financial Services Committee has begun working on legislation to close regulatory gaps manipulated before and during the financial crisis, Reuters reported. Specifically, the committee will focus on bringing the over-the-counter derivatives market under federal regulation and creating an agency to protect people against risky financial products. Next week, the committee will work on legislation concerning hedge funds, insurers and brokerages. A reform package would be voted on the House floor by as early as next month.
- Japan's producer prices – the measure of costs companies pay for energy and unfinished goods – fell 7.9% in September from a year earlier, but rose 0.1% from August, Bloomberg News reported. "Deflation caused by the domestic demand shortage will become evident gradually as time passes, and the wave of price declines will spread," Kyohei Morita, chief economist at Barclays Capital (NYSE ADR: BCS) in Tokyo, told Bloomberg.
- Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S. government's "pay czar," said insurer American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) should shed $198 million in retention pay, MarketWatch reported. Feinberg's statements came from an oversight report on the government's financial bailouts. AIG received multiple bailouts totaling $100 billion after its derivatives-based guarantees on mortgage-related securities sunk the company.
- September retail sales in the United States fell less than forecast, signaling a return in consumer confidence, Bloomberg News reported. Retail sales fell 1.5% after the Obama administration's cash-for-clunkers program helped retail sales tick 2.2% higher in August. Excluding autos, sales gained 0.5%. But for sustained consumer spending, the labor market needs to improve, the U.S. Department of Commerce said in its retail sales report.