The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Group,
Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Citigroup
CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2012
CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zacks.com announces the list of stocks
featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts
discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets.
Stocks recently featured in the blog include Bank of America Corporation
(NYSE:BAC), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS),
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) and Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C).
Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit
from the Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5513
Here are highlights from Tuesday's Analyst Blog:
Merrill Lynch Penalized by FINRA - Again
For the second time in the last few months, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner &
Smith Inc. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation
(NYSE:BAC) – has been fined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
(FINRA). Merrill will pay $500,000 as penalty for its supervisory failure or
missing deadline for filing nearly 650 reports related to the brokers' updates
and details regarding customer complaints as well as settlements.
The FINRA stated that such failures occurred between 2005 and 2011. Also,
Merrill did not provide proper instructions nor did it supervise its employees
who were responsible for tracking and reporting such customer complaints. As a
result, these violations went unnoticed for years.
As per the FINRA rules, the brokerage firms are required to provide updated
information regarding its brokers including criminal and civil complaints as
well as regulatory actions against them along with the customer complaints and
settlements. Further, all the required information should be made available
within 30 days. In addition, the firms must submit a form while hiring a new
broker or when the broker leaves.
In case of Merrill, the FINRA commented that the breaches might have hampered
investors' ability to assess the background of some brokers through the
FINRA's public disclosure system – BrokerCheck. Further, the violations
hindered other brokerage firms' ability to conduct background checks while
hiring and lowered the ability of the regulators to review brokers' transfer
Earlier in June, the FINRA had penalized Merrill $2.8 million for supervisory
failures related to overcharging nearly 95,000 customers in unnecessary fees
and failure to provide certain required trade notices. While imposing the
fine, the FINRA stated that from April 2003 to December 2011 Merrill did not
have a proper system in place to check whether the customers were charged in
accordance to their contracts. This had resulted in $32 million of unwarranted
fees charged from the clients.
In the recent months, other Wall Street biggies whose units were penalized by
the FINRA for various rule violations include
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Wells Fargo & Company
Though Merrill neither admitted nor denied the charges levied by the FINRA,
the penalty will somewhat dent the brokerage firm's goodwill. This is also
expected to marginally hamper its financial performance in the near term.
Currently, Bank of America retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a
short-term Hold rating. Also, considering the fundamentals, we maintain a long
term 'Neutral' recommendation on the stock.
Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the
Pros newsletter: http://at.zacks.com/?id=5515.
About Zacks Equity Research
Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative
analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the
Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded
stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights
to developments that affect company profits and stock performance.
Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.
Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the
latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter
Zacks.com is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed
in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in
stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his
many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking
system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3
to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and
market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email
newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of
Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free
subscription to Profit from the Pros at http://at.zacks.com/?id=5518.
Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance
numbers displayed in this press release.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/zacksresearch
Join us on Facebook:
Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors
should always research companies and securities before making any investments.
Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell
Zacks Investment Research
800-767-3771 ext. 9339
SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.