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Illinois asset managers merging; Fed officials' cautious optimism on US economy


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Illinois asset managers merging; Fed officials' cautious optimism on US economy

Savant Capital Management and Huber Financial Advisors LLC plan to merge during the first quarter. The deal will increase Savant Capital Management's assets under management to $3.1 billion in the Chicago area and $8 billion overall. Huber Financial Advisors will adopt Savant Capital Management's name and branding after the integration, expected to be finalized by March 31.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom will introduce on Jan. 10 a California Consumer Financial Protection legislation that seeks to revamp the rules protecting consumers from predatory businesses, David Lazarus said in a Jan. 9 column in the Los Angeles Times. The proposed law will change the existing Department of Business Oversight to the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, Lazarus wrote, citing materials from the governor's office.

Federal Reserve officials on Jan. 9 displayed some cautious optimism about the U.S. economy's prospects, showing no rush to change interest rates again after their three rate cuts in 2019. The Fed's actions to cushion the economy from weaker global growth were "well-timed" and have helped keep the U.S. economic outlook on track, Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., asked Wells Fargo & Co. to pay back by Jan. 30 the IT vendors who refunded it some of the revenue they made from contracts with the bank, Reuters reports, citing Porter's letter to the bank's CEO, Charles Scharf. Porter said demanding partial refunds from the vendors was the bank's way of recouping part of the regulatory fines it has paid, according to the report.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Texas Department of Banking issued a cease and desist order to El Paso, Texas-based United Bank of El Paso del Norte, effective Dec. 30, 2019. The most recent examination conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the Texas Department of Banking identified significant deficiencies in the bank's risk management and compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

Vanguard Group Inc. is set to ramp up competition in the British wealth management sector after obtaining regulatory approval to provide investment advice in the U.K. The U.S. fund manager, which has been the fastest-growing globally in the past seven years due to its low-cost passive fund options, received permission from the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority to begin offering retail investment advice in Britain, according to Financial Times.

PayPal Holdings Inc. expects to report a pretax gain of $38 million, or $29 million on an after-tax basis, on its strategic investments in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2019.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Vietnam to raise 4 banks' capital; Westpac to review operations

Europe: MPS sees €1.2B profit hit; Carney signals more stimulus; Santander sells CoCos

Middle East & Africa: World Bank cuts global growth forecast; Bank of Israel holds key rate

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US bank M&A continued apace in 2019 despite dip in median pricing: Large, regional bank mergers of equals dominated U.S. bank deal headlines in 2019, but smaller deals continued to constitute most activity as the industry's yearslong consolidation trend persists.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.27% to 28,638.20, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.47% to 23,850.57.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.02% to 7,599.56, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.05% to 1,159.24.

On the macro front

The employment situation report, the wholesale trade report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

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.

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