In the banking scene:
In Indiana, Warsaw-based United Credit Union will merge with Via Credit Union of Marion in a deal expected to close Feb. 1, 2017.
Meanwhile, Compass Point analysts pointed to Investors Bancorp Inc. as a possible suitor for Lake Success, N.Y.-based Astoria Financial Corp., especially considering a recent bank stock rally increases the chances of another bidder emerging. Continuing with their extrapolation that Investors was the unnamed "Party A" bidder for Astoria mentioned in merger documents, Laurie Havener Hunsicker, Scott Valentin and Jesus Bueno noted that at the time of Party A's all-stock bid for Astoria in October 2015, Investors' stock was valued at $12.66. It closed at $14.05 on Dec. 23.
Competition is building up in the broker/dealer scene. The Wall Street Journal reports that Intercontinental Exchange Inc.'s NYSE Arca saw its ETF listings decline year-over-year for the first time in at least five years, with more than 30 ETFs having switched to Nasdaq Inc. and Bats Global Markets Inc. this month.
As for the fintech industry, SNL data shows that there have been 178 announced transactions classified as financial technology deals with U.S. targets in 2016. That total is down from 201 a year earlier. The aggregate disclosed deal value dropped to approximately $17.47 billion from $48.42 billion in 2015.
In government news:
President-elect Donald Trump appointed Thomas Bossert as adviser on national security, terrorism and cyber issues, the WSJ reports.
And in an attempt to get Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, removed from his post, Republicans are on the lookout for "past transgressions" such as allegations of pay discrimination against women and minority employees at the agency, the WSJ reports.
In other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: Anbang to buy Allianz South Korea biz; Sany-led group sets up commercial bank
Europe: Monte dei Paschi needs more; BankNordik expects less; Deutsche Bank CET1 is set
Middle East & Africa: The attraction of Africa; M&A activity in the Middle East
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.83% to 21,754.74. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.01% to 19,401.72.
In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.40% to 7,096.70, and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.09% to 931.36.
On the macro front
The Redbook and the pending home sales index are due out today.
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