UPDATE: Market Chatter: U.S. Expands China Hiring Probe To Morgan Stanley

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The U.S. Justice Department is probing Morgan Stanley ( MS ) for its hiring practices in China as part of an industry-wide investigation by the government into whether banks' employment of politically connected Chinese breached U.S. bribery laws, according to people familiar with the matter, Reuters reports in what appears to be an update of a Tuesday story that has also been cited by the Wall Street Journal.

As part of the industry sweep, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent letters to Morgan Stanley and other banks, including Goldman Sachs ( GS ) and Citigroup ( C ), seeking information about their hiring practices, according to several people familiar with the matter, the latest Reuters report says.

Meanwhile, a report by The Street says the nation's largest banks including Bank of America ( BAC ), JPMorgan ( JPM ), Citigroup, Wells Fargo (WFC), Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley can absorb at least $155 billion in mortgage related losses, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

It says the Nov. 25 report by S&P stated that prospective mortgage litigation is one reason for a negative outlook to Bank of America's A- credit rating. Currently, S&P holds a stable outlook on JPMorgan's current credit rating, it adds.

Earlier in November, JPMorgan agreed to a $13 billion settlement between it and multiple government authorities that resolved litigation tied to the bank's issuance of mortgage securities leading up to the financial crisis, The Street notes.

MS has recouped earlier losses that saw it touch a day low $31.25 and is now slightly higher and closer to 52 week highs; C is also slightly higher and nearer to 52 week highs; and ditto for Goldman.



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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: BAC , C , GS , JPM , MS

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