|Day's Range||10.10 - 10.40|
DOW UPDATE The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading down Tuesday afternoon with shares of American Express and Boeing facing the biggest losses for the index. The Dow (DJIA) was most recently trading 207 points, or 0.
DOW UPDATE Dragged down by negative returns for shares of Boeing and American Express, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading down Tuesday morning. Shares of Boeing (BA) and American Express (AXP) are contributing to the blue-chip gauge's intraday decline, as the Dow (DJIA) was most recently trading 140 points lower (-0.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- As the U.S. deals with social unrest and the focus on fairness and equality grows, many public and private leaders have asked a simple question: “How can we do better?” It’s a fair question, one which got me thinking about the public finance sector, long considered among the most diverse and inclusive areas in investment banking. While this sector has seen many positive developments over the 30-plus years since I started my career on Wall Street, there is clearly much work to do.As of late, my phone has been ringing off the hook with calls from other chief executives wanting to know what they can do better when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion. We have heard this narrative before, yet never with this great a sense of urgency. Some major banking institutions have gone beyond simple lip service and begun to hold leaders directly accountable for diversity goals and objectives. Major cities such as New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Washington have been consistent leaders in not just a broad commitment to inclusion, but have gone the extra mile to ensure equality as well. They have made the deliberate choice of involving minority- and women-owned business enterprise banking firms, and other diverse professional-services firms, in leading and meaningful roles. This is not just about offering small monetary compensation to appear inclusive. These cities further a broader mission of building trust, respect and reputation in these firms — in an industry where those characteristics mean everything. It has been through the responsibility shown by many entities in the public sector that we have started to see real change trickle into other areas of finance, such as corporate banking and the buy-side of the industry. Institutions and organizations in other areas should be commended as well. They include sub-sectors such as transportation, water and sewer, housing and K-12 education. However, one sector has had a poor and often erratic record with regard to inclusion and diversity: higher education. It is a disappointing irony that an industry whose institutions have often been the most vocal promoters of tolerance, inclusion and diversity, should be one so lacking in the tangible promotion of those values within the financial industry.The higher education sector has issued a record volume of debt since the Covid-19 shock began in March — over $12 billion. While some major universities and colleges have an open-door policy in terms of inclusion and equity for professional-services providers, others have been shockingly closed, seemingly inconsistent with their core mission. For example, in the mighty Ivy League, only Penn, Princeton, Columbia and Cornell regularly have minority- and women-owned firms in their bond underwriting syndicates, along with other professional-services providers for bond transactions. Harvard, Yale, Brown and Dartmouth rarely, if ever, have such companies. Almost none have included minority law firms. We’ve seen much the same disappointment at other prestigious institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins, the California Institute of Technology, Notre Dame and Boston College, to name a few.Harvard says its mission is to educate its citizens into leaders of our society. Yale takes it one step further: Its mission is to educate leaders who serve "all sectors of society." I suspect Yale didn’t apply that principle to its $1.5 billion transaction priced in early June, one in which the school used no minority-led law firms and just three major firms — Barclays Plc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. — for its underwriting syndicate. And remember, Yale is located in New Haven, Connecticut, a city where almost two-thirds of the residents are people of color.But this is not just about the Ivy League or private schools. Ohio State has beaten Michigan eight straight years in football, and it appears that the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines in the inclusion area as well. Michigan issued almost $1 billion in debt recently and failed to include a single minority-owned law firm or underwriter. Whereas Ohio State recently executed a $187 million transaction that did include a minority underwriter — it joins fellow Big Ten members Northwestern and Purdue, which have also recently completed deals with minority- and women-owned businesses in their transaction teams. Unfortunately, Michigan State, Indiana, Nebraska and Penn State have not, and each executed transactions that exceeded $500 million. We have seen similar inconsistencies out west. The University of Southern California, the University of California Regents, the Cal State System and the Universities of Washington and Colorado have been very inclusive. On the other hand, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Oregon State have lacked minority participation. Elsewhere, major systems that should be commended for their inclusion policies include the University of Texas, Texas A&M and the Universities of Massachusetts and Connecticut. Private institutions such as Temple, the University of Chicago and Kent State deserve solid marks as well. Some of the least inclusive schools have been in southern states. Georgia Tech, Emory, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest have not used minority firms. These are institutions which have never failed to be inclusive on the gridiron or hardwood, but this “inclusivity” would seemingly stop at professional services.More broadly, in the municipal and not-for-profit sectors — which in many respects are not dissimilar from the nation as a whole — there has been much progress, but much work remains. Many of our municipal issuers understand this and have been inclusive and equitable, with positive results. New York City’s first deal after the onset of Covid-19 was senior-managed by a minority firm, to spectacular results. The State of Ohio recently did the same for an $800 million taxable and tax-exempt transaction that generated over $360 million in much-needed budgetary and cash-flow savings. Finally, many minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms have formed partnerships with large banks to provide additional liquidity to universities. The argument that an institution only uses so-called “credit banks” is no longer valid. Minority- and women-owned firms have time and again shown the capability to provide outstanding execution on some of the largest and most complex financial transactions in the country. It is time that grand American institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke, Michigan and the like give their coveted stamps of responsibility and trust to minority firms that can help universities build a capital structure worthy of their academic prowess.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jim Reynolds is the chairman and chief executive of Loop Capital.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Transparency and public trust are essential to effective bank regulation. These guiding principles were severely compromised in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Instead of simple, straightforward metrics of bank solvency, capital requirements became an exercise in gamesmanship. Regulators deferred to banks’ own opaque and incomprehensible models of risk to determine how much capital they needed, deeming them “well-capitalized” when the banks were anything but. Reforms adopted after the crisis wisely added simpler, objective capital standards, complemented by stress tests that publicize whether large banks have sufficient capacity to weather severe economic conditions.Unfortunately, last month’s confusing and vague pronouncements by the Federal Reserve of this year’s stress test results undermined those principles. Instead of reassuring the public, they have created more uncertainty as to the strength of the banking system.Much criticism has centered on the failure of the Fed to publish bank-specific results under its “enhanced sensitivity analysis,” which took into account worsening economic scenarios caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The stress scenarios the Fed had announced in February were not as severe as the path the economy is on now. But the Fed only published bank-specific results under February’s now essentially irrelevant assumptions.Less noticed, but we feel equally important, was the failure of the Fed to publish an enhanced sensitivity analysis using a simpler, more reliable measure of financial strength called the leverage ratio. Instead, the Fed relied solely on banks’ “risk-based ratios,” which seek to measure capital adequacy in relation to judgments about the riskiness of banks’ assets. Risk-based ratios failed spectacularly in the lead up to the financial crisis as large banks took huge, highly leveraged stakes in securities and derivatives tied to mortgages because they and their regulators deemed those assets low risk.After the crisis, global consensus emerged that regulators should backstop risk-based capital rules with leverage ratios, which proved to be more reliable indicators of solvency during the financial crisis. For the largest banks, these supplemental leverage ratios require a minimum of 5% equity funding for the banking organization, and 6% for subsidiaries insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.A review of the bank-specific results published by the Fed using February’s pre-pandemic assumptions shows that some large banks would be operating with thin capital margins even under those more benign scenarios. For instance, Goldman Sachs’s supplemental leverage ratio dipped as low as 3.5%; Morgan Stanley, 4.5%; JPMorgan Chase, 5.1%. Unfortunately, we don’t know how these and other large banks will fare under the more-distressed conditions caused by the pandemic. The Fed’s enhanced sensitivity assessment only disclosed aggregate risk-based ratios. These ranged from 9.5% for a “V-shaped” recovery to 7.7% for a more severe “W,” with the bottom 25th percentile of banks going as low as 4.8% in a “W” scenario. Leverage ratios are typically less than half of banks’ risk-based measures. Indeed, a major concern about risk-based ratios is that they imply capital levels greater than they actually are. Thus, it is likely there were a number of banks with stress leverage ratios below 3% in the Fed’s sensitivity analysis, far too thin to keep them lending and solvent without government support.The failure to disclose leverage ratios in the pandemic sensitivity analysis is consistent with the Fed’s rulemaking in March to eliminate leverage requirements from their stress tests. Unfortunately, it is not the only step regulators have taken to marginalize leverage ratios. They have also allowed large banks to remove “safe assets” such as Treasury securities and reserve deposits from the supplemental leverage ratios calculation. But the relatively low requirements were calibrated based on the assumption that they would apply to all of a banks’ assets, including safe assets as well as risky exposures such as uncleared derivatives and leveraged loans. Removing safe assets without raising the required ratio will eventually lead to significant reductions in capital minimums, according to regulators’ estimates: $76 billion for banking organizations and more than $55 billion for their insured subsidiaries.Regulators have said this step was necessary to “support credit to households and businesses.” But this is hard to reconcile with their refusal to request suspension of bank dividend payments. (They did finally impose a modest cap, which will still permit most banks to continue paying dividends at their first quarter levels.) Retaining that capital would give banks the ability to expand support for the real economy without weakening their capital position. FDIC-insured banks paid $30 billion in dividends to their holding companies in the first quarter. If that $30 billion had stayed on banks’ balance sheets, it could have supported nearly a half trillion dollars in additional capacity to take new deposits and make loans.Moreover, we challenge whether this change will further its stated goal to increase Main Street lending. It will instead create incentives to reduce lending. A number of banks will most likely need to improve their capital ratios as a result of the Fed’s continued stress assessments. But to do so, they can simply cut back on loans, which have relatively high risk-based capital requirements, and shift into U.S. Treasuries, which now have no capital requirements. They will be able to boost their risk-based ratios without having to curb dividends or issue new equity.Regulators have said removing Treasury securities and reserve deposits from the leverage ratio calculation is temporary, but bank lobbyists are expected to seek legislation making it permanent as part of the next stimulus package. Banking advocates are also pushing regulators to finalize pending changes to the supplemental leverage ratios which would reduce required capital at the eight largest FDIC-insured banks by $121 billion, or 20% on average. If the banking lobby is successful, we fear there won’t be much left of meaningful leverage restrictions.Bank capital funding requirements are not unnecessary red tape as bank lobbyists try to portray them. They are essential to financial stability. Studies show that highly capitalized banks do a better job of lending than highly leveraged ones, especially during economic stress. The previous financial crisis demonstrated how unreliable risk-based ratios can be and the need to backstop them with overarching leverage constraints on large financial institutions. Greater reliance on simpler, transparent leverage ratios was central to regaining public trust in the solvency and resilience of the banking system. Their demise will force the public to rely on the Fed’s and big banks’ complex and nontransparent risk models. Bank capital levels will once again become an insiders’ game.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sheila Bair was chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from 2006 to 2011.Thomas Hoenig was vice chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from 2012 to 2018.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Neither Uber Technologies Inc. nor Postmates Inc. are profitable. They’re hoping that a combination of the two businesses will somehow get them there.Uber said Monday it will spend $2.65 billion for the San Francisco-based food delivery company Postmates. The all-stock transaction is a bid to accelerate a path to profitability set by Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi and deliver growth rates once typical of Uber’s ride-hailing operation. Both aspects of that strategy rely on food delivery, which has gotten a boost from the coronavirus pandemic.The deal is a relatively modest outcome for Postmates, a pioneer of the gig economy that was outmaneuvered by deep-pocketed competitors. The privately held company had been valued at $2.4 billion in an investment last year, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time.For Uber, the purchase comes at a reasonable price and could help lead to a rational—and perhaps someday, profitable—market, said Benjamin Black, an analyst at Evercore ISI. “You had four players who were very aggressive on price and were essentially giving away food for free,” said Black. “Rational pricing will start to kick in after consolidation.”Uber estimates that it will issue about 84 million shares of common stock for 100% of the fully diluted equity of Postmates, the company said in a statement Monday. Shares of Uber rose about 5% during trading Monday.Early this year, Uber was expecting to turn its first quarterly profit by the end of 2020. The virus forced a swift reassessment of that plan. Uber revised the estimate in May targeting a quarterly profit in 2021.Since the start of the pandemic, Uber has cut more than a quarter of its staff and exited or pared back some businesses, such as electric bikes and financial services, so it could focus on core areas: ride-hailing and food delivery. Growth in Uber’s core rides business was slowing even before the pandemic drove a first ever decline in bookings in the first quarter. Global rides plummeted 70%, Khosrowshahi said in June.Uber Eats has been a bright spot for the company as stay-at-home orders and restaurant closures have prompted more customers to order in. Food-delivery bookings more than doubled for Uber in the second quarter and rose about 67% for Postmates, Khosrowshahi said in the statement Monday.The company sees advantages from the Postmates deal beyond meal delivery. Postmates was a pioneer in so-called delivery-as-a-service, complementing Uber’s efforts in shuttling groceries, essentials and other goods, the company said. Restaurants and other retailers will benefit from tools and technology to connect with a bigger customer base, according to the statement.“Platforms like ours can power much more than just food delivery—they can be a hugely important part of local commerce and communities, all the more important during crises like Covid-19,” Khosrowshahi said.Postmates wasn’t Uber’s first choice. A proposed acquisition of Grubhub fell through last month when European rival Just Eat Takeaway.com NV bought it instead for $7.3 billion. Uber’s bid for Grubhub, one of the larger players in the U.S. food delivery market, was likely to have raised antitrust concerns, according to industry analysts. The two together would have controlled more than half the U.S. market.An acquisition of Postmates is less likely to raise regulatory scrutiny because it wouldn’t change the market as much. Postmates, a distant fourth, would give Uber a firm lead over Grubhub, but the combined company would still trail SoftBank-backed DoorDash Inc., the nationwide leader. Postmates would strengthen Uber’s position in Los Angeles and the American Southwest, two markets where the brand is strongest.Still, the deal has drawn some criticism. “Uber and Postmates’s business model is built on the exploitation of restaurants, workers, and consumers,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of the anti-monopoly group American Economic Liberties Project. “The Federal Trade Commission should refuse to rubber stamp this power grab.”Uber executives have been vocal for months about wanting to drive consolidation in the food delivery market. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was the financial adviser to Postmates, and Latham & Watkins LLP was its legal counsel. Uber’s legal counsel was Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.In addition to competitive threats, the industry faces regulatory risks relating to worker classification. Uber and Postmates sued California last year, alleging a state law that took effect this year designed to give gig workers unemployment protections is unconstitutional.The acquisition of Postmates is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, pending regulatory approval, Uber said. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the head of Uber’s food-delivery business, is expected to remain in that role, a person with knowledge of the plan said Sunday night. Under their agreement, Postmates co-founder Bastian Lehmann and his team will stay on to manage the Postmates service, said another person, both of whom asked not to be identified discussing a private deal.In its statement, Uber said it plans to keep the Postmates app running separately, supported by a more efficient, combined merchant and delivery network.(Updates with profit context in the sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A rally in the shares of Square Inc. over the past few months has pushed the market valuation of the digital-payment company into the ranks of some of the biggest U.S. banks.Square has a market capitalization of about $55 billion after doubling since May, making it worth more than Truist Financial Corp. and all but four banks in the KBW Bank Index. While it’s still dwarfed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp., Square is less than $20 billion shy of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s market valuation, which stands at $74 billion.Square shares have continued to set records in recent weeks as optimism swells over the growth of digital payments, and as the coronavirus pandemic changes consumer and corporate spending behavior.The San Francisco-based company has benefited in particular from positive sentiment about its popular cash app, its handling of pandemic-related government stimulus payments and its ability to garner deposits from traditional banks with fewer digital offerings.Technology stocks have soared this year, while banks have sunk. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index has gained 21% and the KBW Bank Index has fallen 35%.Square rallied as much as 13% on Monday after an analyst suggested it could eventually win as much as 20% of U.S. direct deposit accounts.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Alphabet just became the fourth U.S. company with trillion-dollar status. There’s only one other company with a market value above even $500 billion.
JPMorgan says Wall Street is too negative about how Democratic candidate Joe Biden getting elected would impact the markets. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman shares the details.
Starting in October, the bank will have to maintain a common equity tier 1 capital ratio of 11.3%, up from its current 10.5% requirement.
JPMorgan Chase & Co <JPM.N> is eliminating terms like "blacklist," "master" and "slave" from its internal technology materials and code as it seeks to address racism within the company, said two sources with knowledge of the move. The terms had appeared in some of the bank's technology policies, standards and control procedures, as well in the programming code that runs some of its processes, one of the sources said. Other companies like Twitter Inc <TWTR.K> and GitHub Inc adopted similar changes, prompted by the renewed spotlight on racism after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
The latest 13F reporting period has come and gone, and Insider Monkey is again at the forefront when it comes to making use of this gold mine of data. We at Insider Monkey have plowed through 821 13F filings that hedge funds and well-known value investors are required to file by the SEC. The 13F […]
After a better-than-expected jobs report, stocks finished the holiday-shortened trading week on a strong note. Let's look at a few top stock trades for the first full week of July. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow No. 1: Nio (NIO) Click to EnlargeSource: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com The $5 to $6 zone was set to be a tough one for Nio (NYSE:NIO), which topped out in this area in the first quarter of 2020. Previously, this zone had been support for the stock, before Nio slumped badly in 2019.In any regard, electric car stocks have serious momentum right now -- led by Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which has amassed a market cap north of $200 billion.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIn any regard, Nio shares keep pressing higher, up more than 30% so far this week. Investors undoubtedly have their eyes fixed on $10. * 7 American Manufacturing Stocks to Buy Before Recovery Let's see how the stock does with the $10 to $10.50 zone, which historically, has been resistance. If it continues as resistance, let's see that a pullback into the $6 to $7 area is met with support. Above $10.50 and the all-time highs up at $13.80 are in play. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow No. 2: DocuSign (DOCU) Click to EnlargeSource: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com Man, there's nothing else to say about DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) other than the stock has been a complete beast.The stock never even tested its 200-day moving average during the March selloff. While shares dipped 29.9% from the February high to March low -- outperforming the S&P 500 and Nasdaq during that time -- the rebound has been stunning. Shares are now up more than 200% from that low.However, DocuSign stock nearly tagged $200 on Thursday and may be running out of momentum.I want to see $180 hold as support. If it doesn't, it puts uptrend support (blue line) and the 20-day moving average in play. On a larger dip, see if $150 and/or the 50-day moving average buoy the stock, whichever comes into play first. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow No. 3: JPMorgan (JPM) Click to EnlargeSource: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com Despite the rebound in the overall market, the bank stocks have struggled. For its part, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is doing its best not to break down. But that's not exactly bullish.Shares are below all of the stock's key moving averages and are well off the June high near $115. In fact, just from that level, shares are down about 20%.On the plus side, JPM stock has carved out a nice bottom over the past few sessions. If it holds, the stock will create another higher low, giving bulls something to chew on. For them to maintain momentum though, shares need to reclaim the 50-day moving average, and preferably, the $100 to $102.50 area.If it falls below uptrend support, $82.50 is in play. Top Trades for Tomorrow No. 4: Moderna (MRNA) Click to EnlargeSource: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.com Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) has been a tricky stock lately, but it has traded very technically.While shares slipped about 6% in Thursday's session and lost the 50-day moving average, support near $55 is holding up. If it continues to hold, see that MRNA stock reclaims the 50-day and 20-day moving averages.Above those levels puts recent range resistance in play, up near $67.50. Pushing above that could put a move up toward $80 on the table.If $55 support breaks, shares could see $45.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * Why Everyone Is Investing in 5G All WRONG * America's 1 Stock Picker Reveals His Next 1,000% Winner * Revolutionary Tech Behind 5G Rollout Is Being Pioneered By This 1 Company * Radical New Battery Could Dismantle Oil Markets The post 4 Top Stock Trades for Monday: NIO, DOCU, JPM, MRNA appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard was a great deal for David White. White, who lives in Baltimore and works for a software firm, used to ride the train frequently — and with the credit card, he was able to rack up points that he could convert into free tickets. Adding to White’s frustration: The card comes with a $79 annual fee, and there aren’t many competitive options to redeem the rewards points for non-travel-related uses, he said.
Dun & Bradstreet, the business analytics firm that went private a year ago, is selling 65.75 million shares at $19 to $21 each, according to a June 26 filing.
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Visa, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Chevron and Eli Lilly
The upheaval caused by the coronavirus may mean the end of the 60/40 portfolio, investing icon Burton Malkiel tells MarketWatch, but some other truths will likely endure. Investors are probably better off in passive portfolios, not chasing active managers - or even worse, day trading out of boredom.
JPMorgan has hired three UBS bankers to launch a wealth management team covering Russian clients out of Zurich, the U.S. bank said in an internal memo on Wednesday. "Russia remains an emerging market with exciting prospects for us to gain market share and continue to expand our presence," Karim Rekik, JPMorgan's market manager for Russia and Israel, said in the internal memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by the bank.
UBS, long the dominant bank in Australian equities markets, has closed this half-year outside the top three for the first time in 15 years, even as a rush of coronavirus-related share sales have generated bumper investment banking fees. Its slide to fourth place in the equity capital markets (ECM) league table has been attributed by rivals to the departure of a number of senior bankers from the Australian operations, which have opened the way for rivals to target mandates traditionally dominated by UBS. Such is the Swiss bank's dominance in Australia, it has only finished the year off the ECM top spot once in the past 15 years.
Former CFPB head Richard Cordray says Monday's Supreme Court ruling would mean quick removal of the agency's Trump-appointed director if the Democrats win the White House.
DOW UPDATE Shares of Intel and Goldman Sachs are posting positive gains Tuesday morning, propelling the Dow Jones Industrial Average into positive territory. Shares of Intel (INTC) and Goldman Sachs (GS) are contributing to the index's intraday rally, as the Dow (DJIA) is trading 8 points, or 0.
While JPMorgan (JPM) is likely to be able to maintain the current dividend payout in the near term, further worsening of the economic environment might compel it to cut the same.
Global M&A activity tumbled to its lowest level in more than a decade in the second quarter, according to data provider Refinitiv, as companies gave up on expansion plans to focus on protecting their balance sheets and employees in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Chief executives were reluctant to explore transformative deals without more certainty about the financial outlook of their companies, deal advisers said.
(Bloomberg) -- The value of mergers and acquisitions fell 50% in the first half from the year-earlier period to the lowest level since the depths of the euro-zone debt crisis, as the coronavirus pandemic brought global dealmaking to an abrupt halt.Every region was hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, which gripped markets in March and sparked countrywide lockdowns. This situation has made face-to-face meetings, a lifeblood of M&A, all but impossible. Little more than $1 trillion of deals have been announced this year, making for the slowest first half since 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The sharpest fall has been in the Americas, where the value of deals is down 69% in the first half. While every major industry has been hurt, the financial sector fared better than most. It was boosted by insurance brokerage Aon Plc’s $30 billion offer for Willis Towers Watson Plc and Morgan Stanley’s proposed $13 billion acquisition of E*Trade Financial Corp. The top three advisers on deals targeting the Americas so far in 2020 were Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Bloomberg-compiled data show.Deals involving targets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are down 32%. Large transactions that helped prevent a more dramatic drop include the $19 billion leveraged buyout of Thyssenkrupp AG’s elevator unit by Advent International and Cinven. There was also a recent flurry of activity in the Middle East, including Abu Dhabi’s sale of a $10.1 billion stake in its gas pipeline network that ranks as the biggest infrastructure transaction of the year. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Rothschild & Co. were the busiest advisers on EMEA deals.Asia Pacific has held up better, with overall volumes falling just 7% and most sectors seeing smaller declines than in other parts of the world. The technology, media and telecommunications industry reported a 13% increase, helped by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s digital arm attracting $15 billion of investments from the likes of Facebook Inc. and KKR & Co. Another landmark transaction was Tesco Plc’s sale of Asian businesses to Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont for more than $10 billion. The most active banks on deals in the region were Morgan Stanley, HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.