Top Financial Companies
Financial stocks were slightly lower in mid-day trade, with the NYSE Financial Sector Index declining about 0.3% and the S&P Financial 100 Index slipping 0.1%.
In company news, shares of Citigroup ( C ) were little changed after the financial giant said the federal government has decided against pursuing civil or criminal charges for its alleged role in a multi-bank scheme several years ago to manipulate Libor rates.
"The Department of Justice has advised Citigroup that, based on the facts and circumstances as the Department of Justice currently understands them, the Department of Justice has decided to decline prosecution with respect to LIBOR," the bank said in its 10-Q quarterly report for the three months ended March 31 filed today with regulators.
The Libor scandal broke nearly three years ago when multiple criminal settlements by Barclays Bank ( BCS ) revealed several of the member banks whose daily quotes of overnight borrowing costs between banks make up the London Interbank Offered Rate had been colluding to artificially rise or lower the published rate.
The Justice Department probe reportedly had been focusing on Citigroup, Bank of America ( BAC ) and UBS AG ( UBS ) along with JP Morgan Chase ( JPM ). UBS settled in December 2012, agreeing to pay $1.5 billion, while Deutsche Bank (DB) earlier this year agreed to pay a combined $2.5 billion in fines to settle with U.S. and British authorities. Bank of America an and HSBC (HSBC) also settled late last year.
The Financial Times earlier today reported Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and other banks had agreed to pay a combined $5 billion to settle their Libor-related charges. Barclays would pay around $3.1 billion while Citigroup and JPMorgan would pay $1 billion each, the newspaper reported.
C shares were down about 0.1% at $53.95 each in recent trade, swinging through a relatively tight daily range of $53.86 to $54.15 a share. Over the past 12 months, the stock had risen about 12% over the past year prior to Monday's trade.
In other sector news,
(+) TICC, (+5.9%) Adjusted Q1 core earnings of $0.38 per share beat Capital IQ consensus estimate by $0.11 per share.
(-) VRTS, (-13.6%) Reports Q1 GAAP earnings of $2.11 per share, trailing Wall Street expectations by $0.26 per share. Revenue falls 3.8% year over year to $103.8 mln, trailing estimates by around $1.95 mln.
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