Opening Bell: 04.16.09

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House of Dimon Does Okay For Itself (Bloomberg)
JP Morgan has the distinct pleasure of reporting 40 cents per, well ahead of the 32 cents per the analysts had predicted; this makes the third bank to report ahead of expectations. While earnings were down (tough times and all), it's a step in the right direction for the now-mammoth company.
"They're taking market share in almost every one of their businesses," Jason Goldberg, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York, said before earnings were released. "They're still open for business and aggressively marketing and making loans," said Goldberg, who rates the shares "overweight."
The Return Of The Mortgage Industry (Reuters)
Re-fi's are fueling a boom in the business, if you will; you have to be skeptical of the structure of the industry and it's ability to thoroughly change in a two year window, though. These are (in fact) some of the same people that would finance a 40k couple for a 300k house - is the incentive to oversell gone?
"Aided by low interest rates and government incentives, refinancings have been climbing rapidly. Home purchase mortgage applications are also showing signs of a rebound, although at a slower pace."
NYSE Chief Cautious Of March Rally (FT)
"Mr Niederauer suggested the high trading volumes and gains in leading indices did not necessarily reflect any real conviction that the worst of the economic crisis was over."
UBS Sees Losses, Faces More Downsizing (WSJ)
UBS appears to be going the way of AIG, just much less publicly. I can't see the Swiss government allowing this continue indefinitely, though - not even they have the patience for that. There's going to have to be a marked turn around/sell-off, or the company fails for good; eternal limbos just don't cut it.
"The new boss of UBS AG announced plans that will further downsize Switzerland's largest bank, an admission that dual crises in its trading and private-wealth units have yet to abate.
In announcing 8,700 layoffs and a 15% cut to operating costs, Chief Executive Oswald Grübel showed just how far the bank has fallen behind rivals like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The results also highlighted the task ahead for Mr. Grübel: trying to maintain UBS's scale and influence while under political and legal attack from governments both at home and abroad."
Lawyers Set To Make Profit On Lehman (WSJ)
"New York-based Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP earlier this week asked a federal bankruptcy judge in New York to sign off on a $55.1 million payment for its work representing Lehman.
That marks the biggest quarterly fee request made by lawyers representing a bankrupt company, according to Lynn LoPucki, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who runs a bankruptcy-fee database. Mr. LoPucki estimates that Weil stands to bring in more than $200 million in fees by the end of the case. That would exceed the next-highest debtor counsel fee, the $159 million that Weil earned during the Enron bankruptcy."

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