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Fed helped Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley to pass stress test; 2 NC banks merging

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Fed helped Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley to pass stress test; 2 NC banks merging

A week before the Federal Reserve announced the results of the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, the regulator informed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley that they were about to fail the stress tests and offered them an option to get conditional nonobjections for their capital plans, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The two banking companies agreed to freeze their payouts at recent levels. Under this arrangement, the banks could disburse a combined $13 billion, about $5 billion more than what they would have paid to shareholders if they had decided to retake the test and get a passing grade, according to the report.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., a unit of San Francisco-based brokerage firm Charles Schwab Corp., to pay a civil fine of $2.8 million for not filing suspicious activity reports on questionable transactions conducted by independent investment advisers.

In M&A news, Roanoke Rapids, N.C.-based Roanoke Valley Savings Bank SSB will merge into Roanoke Rapids Savings Bank SSB, rrspin.com reports. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

NRT Technologies, Inc., which designs and develops enterprise platforms for the gaming industry, purchased the gaming ATM assets of Minneapolis-based US Bank NA.

Spirit Community Bank an independent community bank being formed in Statesville, N.C. launched an initial public offering of up to 3 million common shares priced at $10 per share. The offering is initially scheduled to close when all shares are sold or on Sept. 30.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: Anbang steps up units' asset transfers; Goldman Sachs Australia penalized

Europe: SocGen to buy Commerzbank's EMC unit; Swedbank issues Q2 profit guidance

Middle East & Africa: Delek's Phoenix stake sale collapses; firms vie to run Abraaj's healthcare fund

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.41% to 28,545.57, and the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.12% to 21,785.54.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.58% to 7,591.56, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.93% to 1,045.47.

On the macro front

The motor vehicle sales report, the Redbook Index for retail sales and the factory orders report are due out today.

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Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.