Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More brokers leaving Merrill Lynch

Welcome to the morning roundup, a look at this morning's banking and finance headlines.

Brokers out at Merrill Lynch. At least 50 financial advisors who managed nearly $12 billion in client assets have left the firm this year, Reuters reports. Many were veterans at Merrill, which Charlotte-based Bank of America bought in 2009. Their departures - which some blame on the pressure to cross-sell BofA products - could impact the bottom line.

Bond market revival. The bond market, one of Wall Street's most important profit generators, is improving, the Wall Street Journal reports. Traders and bankers are optimistic about the future, citing rising appetites for borrowing and investing, after a dismal 2011.

New way to profit on housing? Bloomberg details private-equity firms' new approach to capitalizing on the housing crash. Instead of flipping cheap houses, some firms are betting that converting foreclosures into rentals is a better strategy.

BofA stock could fall. Traders say banks most exposed to consumer credit - including Bank of America - are at the greatest risk as the Federal Reserve releases stress test results this week, CNBC reports.

Stock market boost. U.S. markets rose this morning after a solid retail sales report, TheStreet writes.