The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is following markets in Asia and Europe lower today. As of 1:20 p.m. EDT the Dow is down 58 points, or 0.39%, to 15,064. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is down 0.38% to 1,620.
There were no U.S. economic releases today. The Dow opened 100 points higher before falling nearly 200 points to where it sits now. And it looks like volatility is back: The VIX (VOLATILITYINDICES: ^VIX ) is up 4.4%.
So what does this mean for long-term investors? Well, the past two days’ drops bring us down to a level not seen since…last Thursday. Yawn. Remember not to let yourself get caught up in the day-to-day market movements. Focus on companies’ long term prospects and the news that affects them.
Today’s Dow leader
Today’s Dow leader is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , up 3.6%. HP recently signed a deal with Google that will allow the PC maker to sell PCs preprogrammed with Google software. The main reason the stock is up today, however, appears to be CEO Meg Whitman’s CNBC appearance this morning. She said that revenue growth was possible for the company this year despite the broad decline of PC sales, which plummeted 14% in the first quarter of this year — their biggest drop ever She also discussed her turnaround of the company and how she believes it is on track.
Hot Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS)
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (RBS), incorporated on March 25, 1968, is a holding company of a global banking and financial services group. The Company operates in the United Kingdom, the United States and internationally through its two principal subsidiaries: The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (the Royal Bank) and National Westminster Bank Plc (NatWest). Both the Royal Bank and NatWest are clearing banks. In the United States, the Company’s subsidiary Citizens Financial Group, Inc. (Citizens) is a commercial banking organization. The Company’s business segment include UK Retail, UK Corporate, Wealth, Global Transaction Services, Ulster Bank, US Retail & Commercial, Global Banking & Markets (GBM), RBS Insurance, Central items, Non-Core Division and Business Services. In February 2012, Ensign Group, Inc. acquired $21.5 million seven-year term loan from RBS Asset Finance, Inc., an affiliate of the Company. In May 2012, The Paragon Group of Companies PLC announced the acquisition of further unsecured consumer loans, through its Idem Capital Securities subsidiary, from the Company.
In September 2011, the Company sold Hilton Glasgow City hotel to Topland Group. In October 2011, Paragon Group of Companies PLC acquired a portfolio of unsecured consumer loans from Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. In December 2011, the Company sold its tenanted pub business to Scottish & Newcastle Pub Company (Management) Limited (S&NPC), a subsidiary of Heineken N.V.
As of December 31, 2011, the Royal Bank and NatWest had 627 and 1,493 retail branches, respectively, in the United Kingdom. Ulster Bank has a foot print of 236 branches and a network of business banking offices across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. US Retail & Commercial had 1,519 retail banking offices (including in-store branches) covering Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The Company offers a range of banking products and related financial services to the personal market. It serves customers through the RBS and NatWest networks of branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) in the United Kingdom, telephony, online and mobile.
The Company is a provider of banking, finance, and risk management services to the corporate and small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in the United Kingdom. It offers a range of banking products and related financial services through a nationwide network of relationship managers, and also through telephone and Internet channels. The product range includes asset finance through the Lombard brand.
The Company provides private banking and investment services in the United Kingdom through Coutts & Co and Adam & Company. It also offers offshore banking through RBS International, NatWest Offshore and Isle of Man Bank, and international private banking through Coutts & Co Ltd.
Global Transaction Services
The Company offers global payments, cash and liquidity management, and trade finance and commercial card products and services. Through the network and partner bank agreements, GTS is able to support and connect customers across 128 countries.
Ulster Bank is retail and business bank in Northern Ireland. It provides a range of financial services. As of December 31, 2011, the Retail Markets division, which had a network of 236 branches, operated in the personal and financial planning sectors. The Corporate Markets division provides services to SME business customers, corporates and institutional markets.
US Retail and Commercial
The Company provides financial services through the Citizens and Charter One brands. US Retail & Commercial is engaged in retail and corporate banking activities through its branch network in 12 states in the United States and through non-branch offices in othe! r states.!
Global Banking and Markets
The Company is a banking partner to corporations and financial institutions globally, providing a range of debt and equity financing, risk management and investment services to its customers. The division is organized along six principal business lines: money markets, rates flow trading, currencies, equities, credit and mortgage markets, and portfolio management and origination.
The Company provides a range of general insurance products to consumers through a range of brands, including Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also provides insurance services for third party brands through its UKI Partnerships business. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses through brokers or direct respectively. Through its international division, RBS Insurance sells general insurance, mainly motor, in Germany and Italy. In addition to insurance services, RBS Insurance continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of the United Kingdom motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and Tracker stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business. On 15 February 2012, a new corporate brand, Direct Line Group, was announced.
Central Functions consist of corporate functions, such as treasury, funding and finance, risk management, legal, communications and human resources. The Centre manages the Company’s capital resources and regulatory projects and provides services to the operating divisions.
Non-Core Division manages separately assets, which the Company intends to run off or dispose of. The division contains a range of businesses and asset portfolios from the GBM division, higher risk profile asset portfolios, including excess risk concentrations, and other illiquid portfolios. It als o includes a range of other portfolios and businesses, inclu! ding regi! onal markets businesses.
Business Services supports the customer-facing businesses and provides operational technology, customer support in telephony, account management, lending and money transmission, global purchasing, property and other services. It also leverages its purchasing power and is the Company’s center for managing large-scale and complex change.
- [By Reuters]
Kris Connor/Getty ImagesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. The U.S. Justice Department is preparing to file civil fraud charges against Citigroup and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit over their sale of flawed mortgage securities ahead of the financial crisis, according to people familiar with the probes. Civil investigators have compiled evidence that allegedly shows that investors lost tens of billions of dollars after purchasing securities Citigroup (C) had marketed as safe even though the bank had reason to believe otherwise, one person said. An investigation into the mortgage securities marketed by Merrill Lynch, which Bank of America (BAC) agreed to acquire at the height of the crisis in 2008, is also close to completion, two other people said. Probes against Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Credit Suisse (CS) are also underway and progressing, according to another two people familiar with those cases. Representatives for all four banks declined to comment. The U.S. banking industry, which faces a range of mortgage-related lawsuits, has contended that many of the alleged investor losses can be attributed to the financial crisis, and that they shouldn’t be held liable for marketing a variety of mortgage securities that ultimately soured. The Justice Department hasn’t determined the exact timing of upcoming lawsuits, the sources said, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told Reuters earlier this month that the department planned to bring more mortgage-related cases in early 2014, while declining to name which companies were targeted. The probes could also lead to settlements instead of lawsuits. The cases stem from a government task force the Obama administration created in early 2012 to probe the sale of shoddy home loans repackaged for investors. Last month, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) entered a $13 billion settlement with the Justice Department and other agencies, to resolve charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages it was
- [By Dan Caplinger]
Even more interesting is the prospect that Toronto-Dominion might seek to buy Citizens Bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS ) . Rumors of a potential $13 billion deal for Citizens surfaced back in October, but thus far, nothing has happened to substantiate those rumors. With RBS facing scrutiny from the U.K. government to reorganize, it might be looking to divest its U.S. operations, and the move could greatly enhance TD’s presence in the States. But TD’s top executive said earlier this year that a potential acquisition of Citizens wouldn’t necessary match well with the bank’s usual guidelines for buyouts.
- [By Andrew Marder]
The banks facing the first wave of investigation are Barclays (NYSE: BCS ) , Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE: RBS ) , HSBC (NYSE: HBC ) , and Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE: LYG ) . These companies are going to pay out something, as they’ve already admitted that rules were broken. The question remains — how much will it cost?
- [By Royston Wild]
LONDON — Shares in majority-nationalised Royal Bank of Scotland Group (LSE: RBS ) (NYSE: RBS ) have come under renewed pressure in recent weeks, trudging 24% lower from January’s one-and-a-half-year peak around 368p.
Hot Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Globe International Ltd (GLB)
Globe International Limited is an Australia-based company, engaged in the design, marketing and distribution of apparel, footwear and skate hardgoods brands for the action sports and street fashion markets. The company operates in the sale of goods in the Action Sports market. The Company operates in three segments include Australasia, North America and Europe. Globe International products were sold to nearly 100 countries around the world.The Company maintains distribution business of third party owned brands for the Australian and New Zealand market operating under its Hardcore and 4 Front divisions. As of June 30, 2012, the Company’s proprietary brands include Globe, Enjoi, Blind, Dusters, Almost, Cliche, Darkstar, Speed Demons, Tensor and Gallaz. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Glanbia Plc (GLB) rallied the most in more than two years as food and beverage shares gained. Hennes & Mauritz AB jumped 6.9 percent after reporting monthly sales that beat estimates. Edenred SA rose 7.8 percent after Raymond James Financial Inc. said margins may improve in 2014. Fresnillo Plc sank 14 percent after missing out on inclusion in a gold-miners gauge.
Hot Long Term Stocks To Buy For 2015: Liberty Media Corporation(LINTA)
Liberty Interactive, Inc. markets and sells a range of consumer products in the United States and internationally, primarily by means of televised shopping programs on the QVC networks and via the Internet through its Websites. It also provides online content, products, and services to consumers, publishers, and advertisers; performance gear products for backpacking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, trail running, and adventure travel; supplements, clothing, tanning supplies, accessories, and other bodybuilding products, as well as hosts an online site where visitors could network and exchange information related to bodybuilding; nutraceutical and cosmeceutical products; integration and fulfillment solutions for multi-channel ecommerce merchants; online invitation and social event planning service; tools and information needed to research, plan, book, and experience travel for business and leisure travelers; and gift ideas and interactive, personalized shopping services. In addition, the company offers retailer and interactive lifestyle network products through television home shopping programming on HSN television network and HSN.com; membership services to the vacation ownership industry; commerce, content, and community converge services; perishable products; residential and commercial video, high-speed data, and voice services over its broadband cable systems; and filmed entertainment, interactive services, television networks, cable systems, and music and publishing. Further, it operates as a catalog and online retailer of party supplies and costumes; ecommerce and traditional retailer of premium baby gear and products that provide parents an assortment of products for their babies, such as travel gear, feeding, d