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JPMorgan posts Q1 net income of $5.52B; living will results could come out this week

And so itbegins: JPMorgan Chase &Co. kicks off first-quarter earnings.It reported first-quarternet income of $5.52billion, or $1.35 per share, compared to $5.91 billion, or $1.45per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The bottomlinecomes out amid plenty of headwinds. Zero Hedge notes fund managers have beenanxious about a Chinese recession, a U.S.recession and quantitative failure, according to BofA's Michael Hartnett'smonthly survey. IMF economic counselor Maurice Obstfeld, on the other hand,remarked on the U.S. economy's surprising robustnessin the face of low energy prices and weaker exports, The New York Times reports.

In any case,it can't be all bad. Fitch Ratings affirmed the U.S.' long-term foreign and local currencyissuer default ratings, and said they reflected the country's"unparalleled financing flexibility" as home to the world's deepestand most liquid capital markets. The outlook is said to be stable.

Farther fromhome, headcount issaid to down by 30 at JPMorgan's Asia-Pacific wealth management unit. There'ssimilar news for CitigroupInc. In London this month, 70 traders and salespeople arereportedly to be laidoff.

"The greatinevitability of modern banking," writes Bloomberg View's Matt Levine,"is that some bank will always be settling a crisis-eramortgage case with regulators from now until the end of time." And, asin Goldman Sachs GroupInc.'s case, the deals will often be for the same loans, "sincethe banks' crisis-era mortgage misdeeds, though large and widespread, were,after all, finite."

On the subjectof post-crisis punishments, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC could releasetheir decisions on banks' latest livingwills this week. The Wall StreetJournal's sources say things aren't looking good for JPMorgan, , and Citi, on theother hand, seems to have pleased the judges.

At the sametime, the Government Accountability Office called the regulators out on thelack of transparency surrounding their evaluations and suggested banks don'thave enough time to rework their resolution plans if the agencies take an average of ninemonths to give feedback.

On CapitolHill, the House Financial Services Committee today meets for the markup of HR4894 — a bill to repealtitle II of Dodd-Frank.

In moreregulatory news, the CFTC's J. Christopher Giancarlo his stand on distributedledger technology (a.k.a. blockchain):"I believe that innovators and investors should not have to seek government'spermission, only its forbearance, to develop DLT."

In Missouri banking news, President andCOO Twila Gregg told regulators she is beneficially acquiring a in Urich board memberCharles Heiman gets about $2.2 million for the shares.

In the asset management scene, isacquiring Netting & Pace CPAs, in a deal that will result in about$1.5 billion in AUMfor the resulting entity.

And CernBasher left Madison WealthManagement Services Inc. and last week launched investmentadvisory firm Brilliant Advice, the CincinnatiBusiness Courier reports.

Specialty lenders Affirm and Pave, meanwhile, justcompleted fundraising rounds. For Affirm, it totaled $100million and was led by Peter Thiel's Founders Fund. For Pave it was $8million and led by Maxfield Capital.

Meeting withless success is the partnership between Citi and Citi will nolonger be securitizing Prosper's online loans, and a source forBloomberg News said the latter had been displeased by the sale of bonds into anunreadymarket. Sources forthe Journal add Prosper isconsidering Goldman as Citi's replacement and is also talking to sovereign-wealthfunds about buying some loans.

In other parts of the world

Citi, Goldmanand Nomura HoldingsInc. are handling the $1-billion-or-more HongKong IPO of Orient Securities Co., the Journalreports. Orient is Citi's China securities joint-venture partner.

The day ahead

U.S.markets are expected to start the day's trading on a higher note as the Nasdaqcomposite index, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average weretrading above fair value in early morning futures trading.

In Asia, theHang Seng rose 3.19% to 21,158.71, and the Nikkei 225 was up 2.84% to 16,381.22.

In Europe asof midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.38% to 6,328.29, and the Euronext 100 hadclimbed 2.08% to 874.35. 

On the macro front

The MBAmortgage applications report, the retail sales report, the Atlanta Fed'sbusiness inflation expectations survey, the EIA petroleum status report, thePPI-FD report and the Beige Book are due out today. 

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