Investors celebrated Tax Day with a broad-based rally and the S&P 500 closed at its highest level in nearly seven years, boosted by Citigroup's strong earnings report and a surge in M&A activity. "Expectations for this quarter are quite low and so far everything has beat, which has given the market a boost," said Barry Hyman, market strategist at EKN Financial.
A Saudi Arabian investor has bought a 3.3 billion pound ($6.6 billion) stake in Europe's biggest bank HSBC Holdings in the past two months, and sees the stake as a long-term investment, his spokesman said.
HSBC Holdings plans to nearly double its number of outlets in China this year as it develops its yuan retail banking business.
HSBC Holdings is set to launch retail banking operations in Japan early next year and plans to open as many as 50 branches within four years, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
"A Fund Affair" is a brand new column that focuses on mutual funds available in Asia. Each week, we will highlight one fund we think is interesting -- whether because it's invested in a hot market, has a niche appeal or simply has been in the news of late.Our inaugural column features the Aberdeen Asset Management's India Opportunities Fund. Why this fund? A hot topic of debate of late has been the outsourcing of business processes to India. India's benefited from these many contracts. So we decided to explore what India and its economy has to offer the investor and how well Indian companies have performed of late.
Facing an increasingly competitive market, online banks are launching checking accounts with attractive rates.
Executives from four major subprime lenders -- but not New Century -- will appear at the Thursday hearing, the committee chairman, Christopher Dodd, said in a statement.
Stocks closed mostly lower, dragged down by higher energy prices and defiance from Iran. Technology rallied on strength in computer chips, giving the Nasdaq a boost. "Investors are somewhat cautious at these market levels," Michael Sheldon, Chief Market Strategist at Spencer Clarke, told CNBC.com.
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This week HSBC Holdings admitted that it would be spending more money than originally anticipated to cover subprime loan defaults -- $1.76 billion more than analysts predicted. Now there’s concern over the mortgage-backed securities that go along with these riskier credit advances, and even more concern over the housing market in general.
Stocks finished lower as new worries about the mortgage lending market depressed financial shares and a late surge in oil prices drove energy stocks higher. "Crude rallied 4% in 10 minutes and it just turned energy stocks on a dime," said Michael Driscoll, Senior Managing Director in Equity Trading at Bear Stearns.
Europe's biggest bank, HSBC Holdings, said its charge for bad debts would be more than $10.5 billion for 2006, some 20% above analysts' average forecasts, due to problems in its U.S. mortgage book.
Shares of sub-prime mortgage lenders fall as HSBC warns that bad debts from lower-quality loans will hurt its results.
China's banking regulator has received eight applications from foreign banks for local registration, which it would begin processing Monday, a first step in granting national treatment.
Oracle boosted its offer for India's i-flex solutions by 42%, with the aim to buy an additional 35% of the banking software provider for $1.3 billion.
Stocks closed higher following mostly positive news about the U.S. economy and gains from several major blue-chip companies.