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BofA, Goldman Sachs Q4'18 earnings out; Fiserv acquiring First Data

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BofA, Goldman Sachs Q4'18 earnings out; Fiserv acquiring First Data

Several U.S. banks posted their earnings results today. Bank of America Corp.'s 2018 fourth-quarter earnings per share went up year over year to 70 cents from 20 cents. So did U.S. Bancorp, which saw its fourth-quarter EPS increase to $1.10 from 97 cents. Meanwhile, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. saw a yearly reduction in fourth-quarter EPS to $2.75 from $4.18.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. posted net earnings of $6.04 per share in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to a net loss of $5.51 per share a year ago.

Around 400 employees, including about 100 in the Pittsburgh region, were laid off at Bank of New York Mellon Corp. on Jan. 14, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Company spokeswoman Jennifer Sullivan declined to comment on the number of job cuts and whether more layoffs are coming, according to the report.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sued Ukranian hacker Oleksandr Ieremenko, six traders and two entities for allegedly hacking the regulator's corporate filings database in 2016, and for participating in an illegal trading operation that allowed them to reap at least $4.1 million in profits.

Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass and Overseas Private Investment Corp. CEO Ray Washburne are among those being considered to become the next head of the World Bank Group, Reuters reports, citing a White House official. Current World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will step down on Feb. 1.

On the M&A front, Fiserv Inc. is acquiring First Data Corp. in an all-stock transaction. For each share held, First Data shareholders will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 0.303 Fiserv shares, for an equity value of $22 billion.

Knoxville, Tenn.-based SmartFinancial Inc. is combining with Franklin, N.C.-based Entegra Financial Corp. in a merger of equals. The transaction is valued at approximately $158.2 million.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: China denies delaying Mastercard, Visa entry; fund manager sells IOOF stake

Europe: UK lawmakers vote against Brexit deal; change of heart at Santander

Middle East & Africa: QNB FY'18 profit up YOY; Absa targets mortgage market; KFH mulls Malaysian exit

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Key hawkish Fed member backs pause in central bank rate hikes: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Esther George said the decision on whether to raise rates "is not urgent and should depend on a careful look at the data."

De novo banks class of 2019 — Fla.-based Silver River Community Bank files: Silver River Community Bank's filing is the second de novo application in 2019 and the fourth application in Florida since 2018.

H8: C&I leads loans higher at US banks in December: An increase in commercial and industrial loans boosted the total loans and leases at U.S. commercial banks to $9.579 trillion in December 2018.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.27% to 26,902.10, while the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.55% to 20,442.75.

In Europe around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.51% to 6,859.68, while the Euronext 100 was up 0.03% to 934.88.

On the macro front

The Mortgage Bankers' Association's mortgage applications report, the National Association of Home Builders' housing market index, the Energy Information Administration petroleum status report and the Beige Book 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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