In his first news conference, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell remains optimistic on the U.S. economy's growth. He also said while inflation is rising toward the Fed's 2% target, economic data do not suggest that inflation is "in the cusp of acceleration."
On Capitol Hill, the U.S. Congress introduced an omnibus spending bill, which it hopes to get passed before the government shuts down again on March 23. The bill abandoned President Donald Trump's wish to restructure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau but instead required it to inform the Congress of any transfer of funds from the Fed on the date of request.
The House Financial Services Committee passed several pieces of legislation, including two Republican bills that would make the Fed the exclusive policymaking and examination authority on the Volcker rule and order the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to allow depository institutions to offer deposit advance services.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. generated the most global investment banking revenue in 2017, according to a league table released by research firm Coalition. The banking giant, which also topped the list in 2016, ranked first in all three of Coalition's categories: equities, fixed-income currencies and commodities, and capital markets and M&A advisory.
The board of JPMorgan is also urging shareholders to reject two proposals during their annual meeting. One of the proposals want to split the chairman and CEO roles in the company, arguing that Jamie Dimon would not be able to make independent assessments of the potential payoff from breaking up the bank. The other seeks to ban vesting equity-based awards to senior executives who leave the company to join the government. Additionally, the board is asking for ratification on the minimum required stake — currently at 20% — for investors who wish to call a special meeting of shareholders.
JPMorgan also disclosed a CEO pay ratio of 364 to 1. Dimon received $28.3 million in total compensation in 2017, compared to the estimated $77,799 a median employee received.
In a letter to lawmakers, Citigroup Inc. defended that the $325 million loan given to real estate firm Kushner Companies LLC after Jared Kushner — the son-in-law and a senior adviser of President Donald Trump — met with CEO Michael Corbat in 2017 was "completely appropriate," The Wall Street Journal reports. Citi said that Corbat did not know about the transaction before it was reported and that the loan did not need his approval. Kushner Cos. also disclosed that it received another $200 million loan from the bank.
In Kansas, Wamego Bancshares Inc. is seeking to acquire 100% of the voting shares of St. Marys State Bank.
And Wichita, Kan.-based Equity Bancshares Inc. named Craig Anderson COO and Craig Mayo chief credit officer. The appointments take effect March 26.
In other parts of the world
Asia Pacific: China names head of new financial regulator; Japan insurers to merge pension ops
Europe: Deutsche Bank slides; UBS, New York reach settlement; SocGen sets CET1 target
Middle East & Africa: 2 Abu Dhabi funds merging; South Africa, Nigeria sit out African free trade pact
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 1.09% to 31,071.05, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.99% to 21,591.99.
In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.60% to 6,996.71, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.92% to 1,014.11.
On the macro front
The jobless claims report, the FHFA house price index, the PMI Composite Flash report, the leading indicators report, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City fed manufacturing index, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.
Coalition is owned by CRISIL. S&P Global Market Intelligence and CRISIL are owned by S&P Global Inc.
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