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Former employees file class action against Wells Fargo

25 Sep

Wells Fargo branch is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston IllinoisTwo former Wells Fargo & Co employees have filed a class action in California seeking $2.6 billion or more for workers who tried to meet aggressive sales quotas without engaging in fraud and were later demoted, forced to resign or fired. The lawsuit on behalf of people who worked for Wells Fargo in California over the past 10 years, including current employees, focuses on those who followed the rules and were penalized for not meeting sales quotas. “Wells Fargo fired or demoted employees who failed to meet unrealistic quotas while at the same time providing promotions to employees who met these quotas by opening fraudulent accounts,” the lawsuit filed on Thursday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County said.

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U.S. presidential contest takes center stage for investors

24 Sep

A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock ExchangeWho becomes the next U.S. president will be a primary focus for Wall Street next week and beyond, starting on Monday with the first debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While the White House race has so far had little discernible effect on the market, that may soon change as polls show a tightening race. Clinton’s once-comfortable lead in opinion polls has evaporated, and with just over six weeks until Election Day, some investors see a toss-up contest creating volatility in certain sectors, including health insurers, drugmakers and industrials.

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Twitter begins discussions to explore a sale: source

23 Sep

People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in WarsawThe sale negotiations will test Twitter’s value both as a data and multimedia company, as other social media services such as Facebook’s Instagram and Snapchat are expanding their footprints and developing new ways to generate profits. CNBC reported earlier on Friday, citing anonymous sources, that Twitter is in talks with companies that include Alphabet’s Google and Salesforce.com , and may receive a formal bid soon. Twitter and Alphabet could not be reached immediately for comment.

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Nasdaq hits record high after Fed leaves rates unchanged

22 Sep

Floor governor Giacchi gives a price for Noble Midstream Partners LP, during the company's IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New YorkWhile the risks to economic outlook were roughly “balanced”, the Fed maintained rates as inflation continued to run below its 2 percent target and members saw room for improvement in the labor market. The central bank slowed the pace of future hikes and cut its longer run interest rate forecast to 2.9 percent from 3 percent, but sent a strong signal for a move by the end of this year. “The Fed probably appeared less hawkish than what the markets had expected,” said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago.

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Wall Street higher as tech, energy gain; Fed in focus

21 Sep

Traders react while working on the floor of the NYSEThe Fed is scheduled to release a statement at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference. U.S. stocks were also supported by the Bank of Japan’s decision to adopt a “yield curve control” under which it will buy long-term government bonds to keep 10-year bond yields at current levels around zero percent. The BOJ also said it would not hesitate to ease monetary policy to support growth.

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Wells Fargo CEO accepts responsibility for 'unethical' practices

20 Sep

John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo, participates in a panel at the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San FranciscoBy Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief executive officer of Wells Fargo & Co on Tuesday apologized for the bank’s opening as many as 2 million bogus customer accounts that could generate fees for the lender. “I accept full responsibility for all unethical sales practices,” CEO John Stumpf told a congressional panel. The bank’s board of directors is examining what action it should take against company executives, Stumpf told the Senate Banking Committee.

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Wall Street rises on gains in healthcare stocks

20 Sep

Traders work on the floor of the NYSEUncertainty surrounding the Bank of Japan is higher as investors have little idea of what tools it could use to achieve its inflation target. “Investors have become more comfortable knowing that a Fed rate hike decision will be put off until future meetings, but there is more uncertainty with what Japan will do,” said Paul Springmeyer, investment managing director at the Private Client Group, U.S. Bank in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “I think (housing data) helps solidify the position for the Fed to hold rates,” Springmeyer said.

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WHY IT MATTERS: Infrastructure

20 Sep

FILE - This May 17, 2012 file photo show the steel skeleton for the eastern end of the new Innerbelt Bridge in Cleveland sits next to the existing span. Much of America’s infrastructure, including its interstate highway system, is more than half a century old and in need of serious work to keep pace with a rising population. Highway, rail and airport bottlenecks slow the movement of goods and commuters, costing billions in wasted time and fuel and even measurably slowing the economy. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)The issue:

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Financials boost Wall Street ahead of Fed meet

20 Sep

Traders work on the floor of the NYSEThe central bank’s two-day meeting will conclude with Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The doves in the Fed are most likely to rule over the hawks who support higher rates in the near term, but investors will assess the comments for clues on a likely hike in December. Investors are also watching the Bank of Japan’s meeting which starts on Tuesday.

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For Yellen, a September Fed surprise could close confidence gap

19 Sep

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen holds a news conference in WashingtonBy Howard Schneider WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Market volatility is low, U.S. census data shows income gains have reached the middle class, and workers are clawing back a larger share of national income. If Fed Chair Janet Yellen wants to prove that policymakers are not being pulled along by investors who for years have second-guessed them, this week may offer a rare moment of calm to do so. The Fed is divided enough ahead of its Sept. 20-21 rate meeting that a nudge from its most influential policymaker could make the difference, and even some investors have begun to argue it is time for the central bank to stop worrying so much about what markets expect.

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