On government and regulation, Senate Republicans are evaluating tools to tackle Dodd-Frank reform, according to Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. In remarks at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Toomey said that they are yet to find eight Democrat senators who would join 52 Republicans to get the 60 votes needed for ordinary legislation.
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan said a "good base case" in 2017 would be three increases to the Fed's benchmark interest rate, adding that he did not rule out more hikes depending on the development of economic conditions.
On litigation, Judge Katherine Failla has allowed certain lawsuits against Wells Fargo & Co. to proceed, in connection with the latter's alleged failures as a trustee, Reuters reports. The plaintiffs include funds from BlackRock Inc. and Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC. They claim, among other things, breach of contract and conflict of interest and say that Wells, as a trustee overseeing residential mortgage-backed securities, did little to force lenders to fix or repurchase the bad loans that backed the plaintiffs' purchased RMBS.
Meanwhile, BofI Holding Inc. and its CEO Gregory Garrabrants are under federal investigation for money laundering, with part of the probe centered on regulatory documents the San Diego-based bank filed with the OCC, sources told the New York Post. Neither the bank nor its chief executive are being accused of any criminal activity, the Post notes.
On M&A, New York-based investment firm Pine Brook agreed to acquire Dallas-based Triumph Bancorp Inc.'s credit investment unit, Triumph Capital Advisors LLC.
Activist investor Sarissa Capital Management LP wants Innoviva Inc.'s CEO and board to get lesser pay due to the healthcare company's poor stock performance. The asset management firm also called on the chair of the compensation committee to resign for permitting "egregious compensation."
Two Sigma Private Investments and EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group LLC, have committed $60 million in financing to Decisely, an HR and benefits platform for small businesses.
Following its February decision to lower its annual assumptions for investment returns, the California State Teachers' Retirement System's funding level was down to nearly 64% from 68%, and its unfunded liability grew to $97 billion from $76 billion, Reuters reports.
On ratings news, S&P Global Ratings put Home Capital Group Inc.'s ratings on CreditWatch, with negative implications, noting that the Ontario Securities Commission's enforcement notices and a proposed class-action lawsuit increase the reputational hit that the company may take from falsified mortgage loan applications discovered in 2014 and 2015.
S&P Global Ratings also revised the rating outlook on fintech firm Cardtronics plc to negative from stable, noting that leverage could approach 3x in 2018 through a decline in EBITDA, among other concerns.
And in people news, John Hobbs, former CFO of Greer, S.C.-based Greer Bancshares Inc., was named senior vice president and CFO of Seneca, S.C.-based Oconee Federal Financial Corp. (MHC) and unit Oconee Federal Savings and Loan Association (MHC), effective April 3.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: Ousted South Korean president arrested; YES Bank issues 49B rupees of shares
Europe: NBG, Alpha Bank swing to FY'16 profit; insurers face hit; JPMorgan looks to Dublin
Middle East & Africa: Gordhan sacked; seeking Chase Bank buyers; Hapoalim, Leumi results
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dipped 0.78% to 24,111.59, and the Nikkei 225 declined 0.81% to 18,909.26.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.55% to 7,328.85, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.27% to 978.67.
On the macro front
The consumer sentiment report, the Chicago PMI, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count and the personal income and outlays report due out today.
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