Banking and regulatory sources with direct knowledge of the situation said the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) appear to be taking different approaches to implementing a set of guidelines on leveraged loans, even though they issued them jointly in March last year. The OCC, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department, is zealously implementing them, while the Fed is more relaxed about it, the sources said. While all major Wall Street banks are regulated by the Fed, the OCC oversees only those with national bank charters, which allow a bank to build a nationwide branch network.
By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's new chief executive on Thursday won rave reviews for his first public encounter with Wall Street analysts who said he communicated willingness to transform the world's largest software company as it scrambles to catch up in the mobile-computing era. Marking the first time in five years that a Microsoft chief executive joined a quarterly earnings conference call, veteran insider Satya Nadella, who took over the helm on Feb. 4, said his first weeks in the new job were taken up with getting to know the company afresh. He said he is also dealing with the reality of the new tech marketplace in which Microsoft has ceded its market dominance to Apple Inc and Google Inc . "What you can expect of Microsoft is courage in the face of reality;
By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's new chief executive got off to a winning start with Wall Street on Thursday as the world's largest software company eased past analysts' profit estimates despite the pressure of falling computer sales. Microsoft shares are up about 8 percent since company veteran Satya Nadella took over as CEO in early February, and are up 19 percent since his predecessor Steve Ballmer announced plans to retire last August, easily outpacing the Standard & Poor's 500. Investors are excited about Nadella's focus on mobile and cloud, or Internet-based, computing, designed to take Microsoft beyond its traditional PC-based Windows business. "This quarter is a nice step in the right direction for Nadella and Microsoft," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets.
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq rose modestly in a choppy session on Thursday, lifted by a rally in Apple shares a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held the broader market in check. Shares of Apple Inc , the most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization, jumped 8.2 percent to $567.77, the biggest gain since August, a day after the company posted revenue that far outpaced expectations. Apple also approved another $30 billion stock-buyback plan, raised its dividend and authorized a seven-for-one stock split. The three major U.S. stock indexes had opened sharply higher, with the Nasdaq initially climbing more than 1 percent before turning negative in the first half-hour of trading.
By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday, helped by a gain in shares of Potash Corp after the company's results beat low expectations and by small increases in heavyweight banking stocks. The upward thrust was offset by declines in major gold miners and an 11.5 percent plunge in Colombia-focused oil company Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp . With the domestic stock market hitting highs last reached in mid-2008, stock pickers are taking a more nuanced view in building positions, resulting in long-maligned sectors such as energy producing winners and losers in almost equal measure. You're not seeing buying across the board," said Elvis Picardo, a strategist at Global Securities in Vancouver.
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Nasdaq rose modestly in choppy trade on Thursday as Apple's shares rallied a day after the iPad maker's strong results, though tensions in Ukraine held back the broader market. Caterpillar Inc shares jumped nearly 2 percent and helped limit the Dow’s loss after the world's largest maker of earth-moving machinery reported earnings that exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The three major U.S. stock indexes had opened sharply higher, with the Nasdaq initially climbing more than 1 percent before turning negative in the first half-hour of trading. Wall Street bounced off session lows with gains again concentrated in the Nasdaq, but stocks remained well off earlier highs.
Author Michael Lewis' claim that the U.S. stock market is rigged was "irresponsible," but the debate it has sparked could lead to positive change, said Bob Greifeld, chief executive of Nasdaq OMX Group , which reported higher earnings on Thursday. "I think certainly it was an irresponsible piece of work and it served to tell a story without any research or factual checking of what was going on and I think it did a disservice to the industry," Greifeld said in an interview. Shortly before "Flash Boys" was released in late March, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said U.S. stock exchanges and alternative trading platforms provide high-frequency traders (HFTs) with unfair technological advantages that give them early access to key data. Last week, Reuters learned that his office had sent subpoenas to at least half-a-dozen HFT firms seeking information on their relationships with exchanges.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group Inc has not to date received a subpoena from the New York attorney general as part of its industrywide probe into allegedly unfair technological advantages on Wall Street, Nasdaq Chief Executive Officer Robert Greifeld said on Thursday. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking information on the relationships that exchanges and off-exchange platforms, known as dark pools, have with high-frequency trading firms, and has issued subpoenas to at least half-dozen firms, Reuters reported last week. (Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
By Marina Lopes NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc's reluctance to offer mass discounts in a near-saturated mobile market is costing it new subscribers, analysts said on Thursday as the largest U.S. wireless carrier missed Wall Street's profit expectations. Shares of Verizon were down nearly 3 percent at midday on Thursday, making it the biggest percentage loser among Dow Jones industrial average component stocks. While its rivals have engaged in aggressive discounting, Verizon has been more conservative in price cuts in an attempt to preserve revenue per user at the expense of subscriber adds. "Verizon and AT&T have solid networks but their price premium is so large that it is going to be very hard for everyone to have their cake and eat it too," said Craig Moffett, a senior analyst at MoffettNathanson.
Time Warner Cable Inc (TWC) lost fewer subscribers than expected and posted healthier results for its residential business, a sign that the turnaround plan it unveiled early this year may be starting to work. Reporting results for the first quarter, the company said on Thursday it lost 34,000 video subscribers on a net basis, fewer than the 77,300 Wall Street analysts were expecting. It also added 269,000 Internet subscribers - the most since the first quarter of 2008. The company, which agreed to be acquired by Comcast Corp (CMCSA) for $45.2 billion, is coming off several quarters where it shed hundreds of thousands of video subscribers.