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SEC may grant reprieve over MiFID; US Bancorp posts higher EPS YOY

The earnings spotlight today is on U.S. Bancorp, M&T Bank Corp., Northern Trust Corp., American Express Co., BancorpSouth Inc., Texas Capital Bancshares Inc., Umpqua Holdings Corp. and Wintrust Financial Corp.

U.S. Bancorp's third-quarter net income applicable to common shares rose to $1.49 billion, or 88 cents per share. This was higher than $1.43 billion, or 84 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

And M&T Bank posted a 2.8% year-over-year increase in third-quarter results.

The SEC is planning to provide relief to financial firms that will be affected by the European Union's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, or MiFID II, which will take effect in January 2018. Bloomberg News sources say the regulator is expected to issue no-action letters by the end of this month. These letters will ensure that the SEC will not sue companies that will separately charge its European clients for investment research services, instead of bundling them together with other services.

In banking news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is acquiring payments firm WePay Inc. Deal terms were not disclosed, but a source told The Wall Street Journal that JPMorgan agreed to pay more than WePay's $220 million valuation as of 2015.

La Crosse, Wis.-based State Bank Financial is selling its La Crescent, Minn., branch to Caledonia, Minn.-based ESB Bank.

And Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among the joint book runners for the IPO of Qudian Inc. The China-based microlender raised $900 million after pricing its U.S. IPO at $24 per American depositary share, Reuters' sources say.

Siris Capital Group LLC is buying financial technology firm IntraLinks Holdings Inc. for about $1 billion.

And in Canada, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions issued its final version of the residential mortgage underwriting practices and procedures. Under the final rule, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2018, uninsured mortgages are required to have a minimum qualifying rate equal to the Bank of Canada's five-year benchmark rate or the contractual mortgage rate plus 2%, whichever is greater.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Thailand denies alleged currency manipulation; AIG eyes Suncorp's life biz

Europe: No MiFID II delay; Catalonia not backing down; Handelsbanken Q3 profit slips

Middle East & Africa: Commercial Bank posts profit drop; South Africa 'cautious' about monetary policy

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.05% to 28,711.76, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.13% to 21,363.05.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.32% to 7,540.50, and the Euronext 100 had grown 0.48% to 1,054.99.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the Housing Starts report, the Atlanta Fed's business inflation expectations survey, the EIA petroleum status report, the Beige Book and the Treasury budget report are due out today.

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