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  • Hong Kong dropped 12 percent to its lowest level in 5 years, S&P futures have swung in a 60 point range this morning, though they are well off their lows.

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    Like we told you days ago consolidation in the financial services sector appears to be taking hold.

  • Will access to the Treasury's rescue fund spark mergers among regional banks?

  • In a step that could accelerate a shakeout of the nation’s banks, the Treasury Department hopes to spur a new round of mergers by steering some of the money in its $250 billion rescue package to banks that are willing to buy weaker rivals, according to government officials.

  • Some interesting intelligence from one of the ground zeroes of the housing market: Florida. Paul Miller of FBR published some financial “ramblings” (his word not mine) on a recent trip to Florida’s West Coast.

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    The Dow fell sharply on Monday as credit concerns hounded financial stocks while global growth worries hurt big technology and industrial companies.

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    Earlier this week, we wrote about the highest yielding stocks on the Dow.  The S&P 500 also has some nice yielding stocks.  If you are worried about the financials being able to continue to pay thier big dividends (with Freddie Mac's big slide, its yield is now over 20%!), there are nearly 40 stocks on the S&P that are currently yielding 5% or more.  Here's a breakdown.

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    Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has added a new stake in NRG Energy, according to a just-released portfolio 'snapshot' of its holdings in U.S. publicly-traded stocks as of June 30.  A sharply reduced stake in Anheuser-Busch may have been a bet that InBev's initially unsolicited offer for the U.S. brewer would prove to be unsuccessful.  Conoco-Phillips data is kept "confidential."

  • As of this morning, 377 (just over 75%) of the S&P 500 companies have reported earnings. Here's a look at which companies have had the biggest surprises so far...

  • The housing report was not so far off the expected and was not nearly as bad as it was treated. We declined because we are in a bear market.

  • Stocks surged in the final hour of trading as a sharp drop in oil prices and an analyst note prompted a late rally in financials. The Nasdaq eked out a gain but investors still punished select techs, including Apple and Texas instruments after the firms dispatched disappointing results.

  • Stocks advanced, buoyed by a sharp drop in oil prices, but technology stocks dragged on the market after disappointing earnings from Apple and Texas Instruments.

  • Stocks advanced, buoyed by a sharp drop in oil prices, but technology stocks dragged on the market after disappointing earnings from Apple and Texas Instruments.

  • Stocks dropped at the open, crushed by a wave of disappointing earnings reports both after the close Monday and before the bell Tuesday.

  • SunTrust Banks, a large U.S. southeast regional bank, said on Tuesday second-quarter profit declined, hurt by higher credit costs.

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    The Dow rallied on Wednesday after strong results from Wells Fargo lifted the entire banking sector to it’s biggest one day gain in almost two decades. What's the "Word on the Street?"

  • Stocks finished lower, led by financials, as investors worried that the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac might not be enough to prevent further turmoil in financial markets.

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    U.S. banks will unleash a tide of poor quarterly results over the next two weeks, yet investors may choose to focus instead on when a recovery might be at hand and how much more capital raising and dividend cutting will be needed to achieve it.

  • Stocks whipped back to positive territory on a seesaw day for Wall Street, which was dominated by a large dumping of financial shares and a drop in oil that staggered large energy producers.

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    We started to hear rumblings last week about how residential construction loans are weighing heavily on local banks because, big surprise, some of the builders are having trouble keeping up with the payments.