MS - Morgan Stanley

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
-0.35 (-0.80%)
At close: 4:06PM EDT
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Previous Close44.02
Bid43.67 x 2900
Ask43.75 x 3000
Day's Range43.63 - 44.60
52 Week Range36.74 - 49.45
Avg. Volume9,835,553
Market Cap72.176B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.30
PE Ratio (TTM)9.54
EPS (TTM)4.58
Earnings DateOct 14, 2019 - Oct 18, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield1.40 (3.18%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-07-30
1y Target Est52.95
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Goldman Sachs: 5 Strong Value Stocks To Buy Now

    Goldman Sachs: 5 Strong Value Stocks To Buy Now

    October is set to be a particularly volatile month for the market. That’s because this is a critical period for many investors and companies that manage performance to calendar year-end. So how can you best take advantage of the current investing climate? One option is to turn to value stocks. Luckily Goldman Sachs has released a report revealing its top value stocks right now. According to the firm, these are stocks that "have the potential for continued asymmetric upside.""While fundamentals will also determine the long-term trajectory of stocks, we use signals from options and credit markets to identify 20 value stocks from among those where our analysts' estimates show strong value scores," the firm’s Vishal Vivek told clients recently. These are stocks that sold off over the last year, but are now showing strong rebound potential.Here we ran the 20 stocks recommended by the firm through our database to find the 5 stocks on the list with the most Street support. Indeed, as you will see below, all five stocks covered below show a ‘Strong Buy’ or ‘Moderate Buy’ consensus from Wall Street. This is based on all the ratings received by each stock over the last three months- and means analysts believe now is a compelling time to buy into these names. Let’s take a closer look: 1\. Marathon Petroleum Based in Ohio, Marathon Petroleum (MPC – Get Report) is a leading downstream energy company. The company operates the US’s largest refining system 3 million + barrels per day of crude oil capacity across 16 refineries. Five out of six analysts covering Marathon are bullish on the stock’s outlook. And the average analyst price target works out at $68 (23% upside potential). Encouragingly, MPC’s 2Q19 results came in strong across the board. Plus synergies from its Andeavor acquisition are starting to come through more rapidly. Achieving a $1.4 billion synergy target would be a major catalyst says RBC Capital’s Brad Heffern. He is also a fan of Marathon’s retail business, Speedway. This “is the most attractive retail franchise in our coverage universe, and the extension of the Speedway model to the acquired ANDV stores could provide meaningful upside” stated the analyst. Even though the stock is trading down 7% year-to-date, shares have rallied 12% since the start of September. 2\. Morgan Stanley All four analysts covering Morgan Stanley (MS – Get Report) rate the stock a buy right now. On average these analysts see shares climbing 37% from current levels. Most tellingly, Citigroup’s Keith Horowitz recently upgraded MS from Hold to Buy while boosting his price target from $48 to $52. He advised investors to use weakness as an opportunity to increase exposure to a high-quality franchise with limited rates exposure.“We see Morgan Stanley net income growth of 2-3% over the next two years by continuing to gain market share in both its institutional and retail franchises, which compares more favorably against the flat to slightly declining net income growth among the rest of the bank universe” the analyst told investors. Shares are down 12% on a one-year basis, but have climbed 10% year-to-date. 3\. Kohl’s Corp Although this department store retail chain scores a Moderate Buy rather than Strong Buy consensus, Kohl's (KSS – Get Report) still has its fair share of supporters. For instance, five-star Guggenheim analyst Robert Drbul has just reiterated his KSS buy rating. After hosting a lunch with Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass and VP Mark Rupe, Drbul wrote “In an increasingly dynamic retail environment, we believe KSS remains a strong operator, led by a talented team with a clear strategy.”Despite a poor second quarter (as reflected by stock performance) Drbul notes an improvement in seasonal goods and traffic during August. “As we think about the remainder of '19, we reiterate our BUY rating as we believe management has the playbook to drive positive comps in 2H19 given the multitude of initiatives planned (led by the expanded Amazon partnership)” he writes. Kohl’s now accepts returns from Amazon (AMZN) customers at all of its more than 1,150 Kohl's stores nationwide. 4\. Valero Energy Among the large cap refiners, Valero (VLO – Get Report) remains the one (essentially) pure play refining company, with modest exposure to ethanol and renewable diesel. Like other stocks covered here, VLO is trading down 25% over the last one year- but up 10% year-to-date. What’s more all five analysts polled on VLO rate the stock a buy right now. With a $98 average analyst price target, analysts are anticipating upside of 18% from current levels.“The primary positive that we see with VLO is that it has the highest exposure to the Texas Gulf Coast, which could benefit from widening crude differentials” explains JP Morgan’s Phil Gresh. He believes VLO should have its choice of light and heavy crude on the Gulf Coast, with a unique angle on its Texas exposure. 5\. Conagra Brands Packaged food giant Conagra Brands (CAG – Get Report) may be down 20% on a one-year basis, but the stock has bounded back from its lows. Year-to-date shares have rebounded an impressive 39%. Out of all six analysts covering the stock, four rate CAG a buy right now. That gives the stock a ‘Strong Buy’ consensus. Meanwhile the average analyst price target stands at $32 (9% upside potential). JP Morgan’s Kenneth Goldman has just boosted his price target from $31 to $33. “We believe that CAG has many levers to pull in terms of innovation and synergies” he explains. Visit TipRanks Analysts’ Top Stocks page, to find the latest stock picks from the Street's best-performers.

  • How Morgan Stanley Makes its Money (MS)

    How Morgan Stanley Makes its Money (MS)

    Morgan Stanley shares a name, or part of a name, with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and it is not a coincidence. The “Morgan” in Morgan Stanley is J.P. Morgan’s grandson. The company was founded by Henry S. Morgan, Harold Stanley, and others in 1935.

  • StockBeat: Roku Shares Clobbered as Analyst Says Sell

    StockBeat: Roku Shares Clobbered as Analyst Says Sell - Roku shares were hit hard Friday after a Wall Street analyst rated the stock a sell and slapped it with a $60 price target.

  • Bloomberg

    Amazon Expands Two-Hour Whole Foods Delivery to Catch Walmart

    (Bloomberg) -- Ever since Inc. bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion, shoppers and investors alike have wondered how the e-commerce giant would integrate the upscale grocer into its sprawling online operation. Now, after two years of tinkering, Amazon is betting big on quick delivery from Whole Foods.In August, the company began a pilot project in select cities including Denver and Portland, Oregon. Mining the purchase histories of  Whole Foods shoppers who use their Prime memberships for discounts, Amazon zeroed in on items they buy routinely in physical stores. Then, the company began suggesting the same products on its main website with an enticement: free two-hour delivery. Previously, Prime subscribers looking for speedy grocery delivery needed to download a separate Prime Now app, which limited use of the service. Amazon is betting that offering the service on the main site will pull in more shoppers. The Prime Now app had only 1.8 million monthly average users in August, according to monitoring firm App Annie. Amazon’s website draws more than 200 million unique monthly visitors while its primary shopping app attracts 125 million users on average each month.As it has done before, Amazon wants to change shopping habits—in this case getting consumers more comfortable buying perishable products like bananas and yogurt online. That’s crucial if Amazon is to take on Walmart Inc. in the $840 billion U.S. grocery market.Encouraged by what it calls “very positive” customer feedback, the company has quickly extended the service to almost 30 cities, including Los Angeles, Houston and Detroit. “Most grocery customers buy the same things over and over again,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an e-mail after Bloomberg asked about the program.  “The past purchases feature enables customers to quickly add favorite products to their cart.”The industry is grappling with how best to mesh physical and online grocery stores, a topic that drew 3,000 executives to the GroceryShop conference in Las Vegas in mid-September for panels on delivery, the future of stores and consumer behavior.Despite trying upend the grocery market for more than a decade, Amazon remains a tiny player. Walmart and its Sam’s Club capture 25% of all grocery spending in the U.S., according to Morgan Stanley, compared with 2% for Amazon and Whole Foods. Walmart has more than 4,500 U.S. stores, about 10 times the number of Whole Foods locations.Meanwhile, competition is intensifying. Walmart and Target Corp. are both investing in delivery options as well as in-store pickup of online orders, all geared toward time-strapped customers looking to simplify their errands. Walmart this month announced it was expanding its $98 annual grocery delivery service to 1,400 cities, undercutting Amazon Prime's $119 annual fee.Persuading shoppers to buy fresh food online isn’t Amazon’s sole challenge. Getting groceries to customers quickly is another. Offering two-hour delivery requires Amazon to show shoppers only products that are close to them, which isn’t easy because the 25-year-old website was designed to let anyone with an internet connection buy a product anywhere in the world. For that reason, Amazon launched its two-hour delivery service Prime Now in 2015 as a separate app detached from the main website, according to a personal familiar with the matter. That enabled Amazon to get the service up and running more quickly but limited participation because users had to download a new app. Moreover, Prime Now has offered a narrow selection of convenience store-style staples. The expanded service could help solve those challenges. Shoppers in cities where the option is available see a Whole Foods storefront on Amazon’s website. The storefront offers visitors discounts to entice them to try fast delivery of perishables and shows them previous purchases they made in stores. An optional filter lets them limit their search to what’s on the shelf in nearby Whole Foods locations in case they’d rather pick up the order themselves. “Amazon has been critiqued for not making full use of the Whole Foods acquisition, and this is about to change that,” says Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of New York e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. “Having local stores act as two-hour delivery hubs is exactly why Amazon acquired the company.”(Updates with Prime Now app data. )\--With assistance from Matthew Boyle.To contact the author of this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at ssoper@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Goldman, Morgan Stanley Turn to Interns for Generational Insight

    (Bloomberg) -- The youngest workers on Wall Street believe their personal data is at risk, want to see government action against climate change and support legalizing medical use of marijuana.Those are some of the findings released this week from surveys of summer interns at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley.The Goldman Sachs survey is partially a recruitment tool, said Jake Siewert, a bank spokesman. “It’s been very instructive for us in thinking about how we connect with people as we are trying to recruit that generation,” Siewert said.At Goldman Sachs, 83% of the interns support a carbon tax to combat climate change, and 80% believe their personal data isn’t secure. Medical use of cannabis is supported by 85% of interns. A majority of U.S. interns, or 59%, back legalizing recreational use, while the worldwide number is 48%.Almost all interns at Morgan Stanley are concerned about privacy for personal data, according to the firm’s survey results. The survey helps gauge how Generation Z, which covers ages between 7 and 22, will behave as consumers and workers, Adam Jonas, the bank’s head of global auto & shared mobility research, said in an email.Read more: Generation Z will be the ultimate cannabis usersAlmost all have driver’s licenses, but only a third of Morgan Stanley interns expect to need to own a car by 2030. About two-thirds said they prefer brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping, and the majority had visited a mall in the prior month.Goldman Sachs surveyed 1,800 interns in two weeks in July, by email. Morgan Stanley surveyed 220 interns during one week in June, via the web.“Interns reflect a really rapid shift in the way people think about certain societal issues,” Siewert said.To contact the reporter on this story: Gwen Everett in New York at geverett10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at, Dan Reichl, Josh FriedmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Prolonged Funding Stress Boosts Calls for Permanent Fed Fix

    Prolonged Funding Stress Boosts Calls for Permanent Fed Fix

    (Bloomberg) -- Signs that stress in U.S. funding markets is rebuilding ramped up pressure on the Federal Reserve to permanently increase reserves by boosting Treasury holdings, even as it was preparing a temporary liquidity injection for a fourth straight day.The New York Fed plans to do another $75 billion overnight repo operation on Friday. It follows liquidity doses of the same size Thursday and Wednesday, and $53.2 billion on Tuesday. The central bank is deploying this remedy for the first time in a decade.The Repo Market’s a Mess. (What’s the Repo Market?)This week’s actions have helped calm the funding market, with repo rates declining to more normal levels after soaring to 10% Tuesday, four times last week’s levels. However, swap spreads tumbled to record lows Thursday amid concern Fed policy makers haven’t announced more aggressive steps. Swaps are signaling less appetite for Treasuries, driven by concern traders won’t be able to fund purchases through the repo market.“The Fed needs to do at least double what they offered now and maybe even be more vigilant and do something even more significant,” said Thomas Simons, senior economist at Jefferies LLC. “This attitude of trying to kind-of fix the problem is not great.”There are others signs of investor apprehension about future funding levels, which is manifesting in different ways.Treasury bill sales on Thursday were met with a poor reception, as investors demanded to be compensated via higher yields for locking up cash. Meanwhile, in cross currency basis -- which show floating-rate payments in different currencies -- the premium for the Australian dollar over its U.S. counterpart collapsed by the most in eight years during Asian trading hours.So while overnight general collateral repurchase agreement rates have retreated, trading around 1.95% Friday, around Thursday’s levels, market participants say the Fed needs to reveal a permanent fix, rather than these ad-hoc overnight operations.“We expect these episodes of funding stresses to become more frequent with demand for funding and U.S. Treasury supply forecast to increase heading into year-end and the Fed’s reserve levels likely to drop further,” Jerome Schneider, head of short-term bond portfolios at Pacific Investment Management Co., wrote in a note Wednesday with his colleagues.The operations, once common before the 2008 financial crisis, temporarily add cash as the Fed takes government securities as collateral. Wall Street bond dealers submitted about $84 billion of securities for Thursday’s Fed action, the most in the three days.The latest addition of liquidity follows the Federal Open Market Committee’s move Wednesday to reduce the interest rate on excess reserves, or IOER, by more than their main interest rate, an attempt to quell money-market stresses.Given the added supply, banks’ holdings of Treasuries have risen and are increasingly being financed by money-market funds investing in repo, which leaves “U.S. funding markets more fragile,” Schneider wrote. He said this adds to other reasons why the Fed needs to do more to engineer a long-term fix.Cap BustedAfter policy makers wrapped up the two-day meeting Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will keep doing these repo operations if that’s what it takes to get markets back on track. He spoke hours after the effective fed funds rate busted through the central bank’s cap.Powell also said the Fed would provide a sufficient supply of bank reserves so that frequent operations like the ones they’ve done this week aren’t required.The only way “to permanently alleviate the funding stress is to rebuild the buffer of reserves in the system,“ according to Morgan Stanley strategist Matthew Hornbach.Relying on repo operations doesn’t resolve the issue of reserves declining as the Treasury rebuilds balances, Hornbach wrote in a note. Having regular operations will also increase market uncertainty as the Fed could halt purchases at any time, while the size of its buying will have to expand over time as reserves drop, he said.“It is certainly possible that we’ll need to resume the organic growth of the balance sheet sooner than we thought,” Powell said, referring to the central bank potentially buying securities again to permanently increase reserves and ensure liquidity in the banking sector.Read: Fed Should Be Worried About ‘Collateral Damage,’ BofA SaysMany strategists had predicted the Fed would take even more aggressive measures to reduce the pressures. One idea that’s gotten a fair amount of attention is something called a standing fixed-rate repo facility -- a permanent way to ease funding pressures. Many analysts even predicted a Wednesday announcement that the Fed would start expanding its balance sheet.That didn’t happen. However, with the Fed apparently ready to keep injecting liquidity whenever it’s needed, “it’s enough for now,” said Jon Hill of BMO Capital Markets.“This week’s dramatic moves in the short-term funding markets serve as a case in point for the need to carefully consider liquidity in the financial system,” Rick Rieder, global chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock Inc., wrote in a note.“All of this funding market gyration points to the increasingly obvious fact that the end of Fed reserve draining is insufficient to stabilize these markets,” he said.(Updates with Friday repo levels.)\--With assistance from Edward Bolingbroke and Stephen Spratt.To contact the reporters on this story: Liz Capo McCormick in New York at;Alexandra Harris in New York at aharris48@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at, Nick Baker, Mark TannenbaumFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Deutsche Completes Auction of Equity Derivatives Portfolio

    Deutsche Completes Auction of Equity Derivatives Portfolio

    Deutsche Bank (DB) makes progress in meeting the radical restructuring targets it had announced in July 2019 to free up capital for other productive business lines.

  • Japan Inflation Hits 2-Year Low as BOJ Calls for Price Review

    Japan Inflation Hits 2-Year Low as BOJ Calls for Price Review

    (Bloomberg) -- Japan’s key gauge of inflation dropped to the lowest level since 2017, the latest indication of the difficulty faced by the Bank of Japan in generating price growth as speculation grows that it may add to its stimulus as early as next month.Consumer prices excluding fresh food rose 0.5% in August from a year earlier, matching economists’ median estimate, according to the internal affairs ministry. A drop in energy prices was the biggest factor in the slowdown.Key InsightsJapan’s key inflation gauge hasn’t risen above 1% in years and is expected to remain subdued in the coming months as education costs weigh on prices.Governor Haruhiko Kuroda Thursday ordered a review to see if developments overseas have the potential to kill off momentum in Japanese prices toward the BOJ’s 2% target. Compared with a month ago, Kuroda said he’s now “more inclined” to go ahead with easing.Energy prices, which have been contributing less to price gains since October last year, fell overall for the first time since January 2017.Stripping out the effects of a drop in energy costs, August’s inflation data may leave room for the BOJ to argue that prices are actually moving in the right direction. Consumer prices excluding both fresh food and energy rose 0.6% pace in August, exceeding economists’ forecasts for a 0.5% gain and above last year’s average pace of 0.4%.“The BOJ will probably want to say price momentum is still upward,” said Hiroshi Miyazaki, a senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley in Tokyo. “But they’ve already been pushed into a corner by price and economic data and will have to think about additional easing.”A 2 percentage point sales tax hike that comes into effect next month presents another risk the BOJ will have to manage. The last increase to the tax in 2014 triggered a contraction of more than 7% the following quarter. Consumer spending has been supporting economic growth during an export slump this year.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say“Any pickup toward the 2% target is going to take a long time. We think the Bank of Japan will need to prepare for a longer-term effort to stoke consumer prices with a more flexible operational approach to its stimulus.”\-- Yuki Masujima, economistClick here to read moreGet MoreOverall consumer prices rose 0.3% in August, matching economists’ median forecast.A 0.2% drop in hotel rates also weighed on inflation.\--With assistance from Tomoko Sato.To contact the reporter on this story: Yoshiaki Nohara in Tokyo at ynohara1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Malcolm Scott at, Jason Clenfield, Paul JacksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Deutsche Bank (DB) Likely to Face Formal ECB Investigation

    Deutsche Bank (DB) Likely to Face Formal ECB Investigation

    Deutsche Bank's (DB) involvement in persistent legal hassles and a low rate environment in the domestic economy are key concerns.

  • Every U.S. Grid Is Getting a Lot Greener, Except the One That Matters

    Every U.S. Grid Is Getting a Lot Greener, Except the One That Matters

    (Bloomberg) -- Every major U.S. electricity grid is getting significantly greener.Except for the massive one serving 65 million Americans.That’s just as problematic as it sounds for the policymakers, power providers and climate activists looking to wean Americans off fossil fuels. While members of other systems move quickly to add solar and wind to their mixes and slash carbon emissions, the network that keeps the lights on from Chicago to Washington has effectively doubled down on natural gas.In the past two years, it has boosted the amount of power generated with gas by 11,131 megawatts. And developers are planning 34,507 megawatts more. Meanwhile, solar and wind account for 1% of the grid’s installed capacity. “How do you manage the gas build-out with more states boosting renewables targets?” asked Toby Shea, a New York-based analyst at Moody’s Investors Service. “There’s already an overbuild of gas.”It’s not that there’s no interest in the renewable trend in the 13 states connected to what’s called the PJM Interconnection. In fact, it has been inundated with applications from renewable developers — 67,000 megawatts of wind and solar in total, from 684 projects.But there’s also this economic reality: PJM crisscrosses a section of the U.S. that’s home to some of the world’s most abundant natural gas reserves. As fast as the cost of wind and solar energy has been dropping, gas in some of these parts is cheaper.The hundreds of cities, counties, states and utilities linked to PJM have different and often competing goals and interests. Some are keen on getting greener, and the continued gas build-out threatens those ambitions.But the rush to make electricity without carbon emissions could put the gas plants in a bind. The potent brew of falling costs for emissions-free renewables could jeopardize facilities that are built to last for decades. They could end up as expensive bit players, filling in only during extreme weather or when the wind or sun aren’t cooperating.By 2035, it will be more expensive to run 90% of the gas plants being proposed in the U.S. than it will be to build new wind and solar farms equipped with storage systems, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit supporter of cleaner energy. It will happen so quickly, the institute says, that plants will become uneconomical before their owners finish paying for them.More than half of U.S. states — including New Jersey, which is in PJM — have required renewables in their electrical blends. This group includes California, which aims to get all of its electricity from emission-free sources by 2045. Even oil-mad Texas is favoring clean power, because wind and solar are so cheap in the Lone Star State. There’s little debate, though, that natural gas is still needed. A Texas heat wave that drove its grid to the brink of blackouts last month was a reminder of how essential the fuel remains. Even in California, gas continues to provide round-the-clock power.“We just can’t turn that gas off today,” said Joseph Fiordaliso, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. “The infrastructure was built years ago. We have to build the infrastructure for wind.”As a grid, PJM is most focused on providing reliability at the lowest cost, said Stu Bresler, its senior vice president of markets and planning. In other words, just because projects are in the queue — gas-fired, wind or solar — doesn’t mean they’ll come to fruition.There is, however, a $70 billion offshore wind market forming off the Atlantic coast. And while renewable energy is still a fraction of PJM’s grid today, Bresler said, ``It’s still growing, and we're going to continue to see penetrations of solar and wind’’ as some states work to meet their renewable energy goals. He also pointed out that renewable energy makes up a larger share of the actual power generated in PJM -- as much as 5%. It makes sense, considering solar and wind farms have essentially zero fuel costs and can produce cheaper than other resources. The gas-fired bet once seemed pragmatic. Appalachia needed new electricity to replace gigawatts of retiring coal-fired power and nuclear reactors. The cheap shale reserves were right there.  Meanwhile, the region isn’t endowed with the sunshine of California or the constant breezes of Texas.  ``PJM doesn’t have the advantage geographically when it comes to wind and solar,’’ Bresler said.Private equity responded by pouring in tens of billions of dollars to build a new gas-fired fleet.Several of the nuclear plants are now being subsidized to stay online. As for gas, the threats posed by renewables prompted Devin McDermott, a commodities strategist at Morgan Stanley, to write a recent research note that he titled, “Could natural gas be a bridge to nowhere?”His question takes the premise that has underpinned the boom and flips it on its head: What if grids need new gas plants for only half of their lives? The economics do seem to be changing. In Texas, a gas plant built in this decade went bankrupt in 2017, in part because it struggled to compete with the state’s cheapest power sources: renewables.Among the half-dozen competitive power markets in the U.S., PJM is a big draw for investors, thanks to its size, capacity payments granted through an annual auction and the proximity to shale formations, said Mark Florian, head of the global energy and power infrastructure team at BlackRock Inc.Ravina Advani, head of energy, natural resources and renewables at BNP Paribas SA, estimated that there will be $6 billion of debt financings supporting new gas-fired plants in PJM by mid-2020.Last year’s auction was a boon for developers. More than $8 billion in supplier payments were granted for the year starting in June 2021. But the next auction, originally scheduled for May and then for August, won’t be held until a federal agency decides how to balance the competing interests of states and power generators in PJM’s territory.Backers of gas-fired units are “taking a lot of risk going into this type of market, when it’s already oversupplied and with renewables coming,” said Moody’s Shea. “It’s just a matter of time.”  (Updates with comments from senior vice president at PJM starting in 13th paragraph)\--With assistance from Dave Merrill, Christopher Cannon, Hannah Recht and David R Baker.To contact the authors of this story: Brian Eckhouse in New York at beckhouse@bloomberg.netNaureen Malik in New York at nmalik28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at, Simon CaseyReg GaleAnne ReifenbergFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Fed Skips Over Repo as Doves and Hawks Squabble

    Fed Skips Over Repo as Doves and Hawks Squabble

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Federal Reserve’s interest-rate decision on Wednesday was never going to be easy for Chair Jerome Powell.He and his colleagues had to reach consensus on how to weigh the U.S.-China trade war against a still-solid labor market and American consumer, not to mention signs of a pickup in inflation. They had to contend with whipsawing bond markets, which were pricing in almost three quarter-point rate cuts for 2019 at the start of September but expected fewer than two ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s meeting.Then came repo madness.Incredibly, and seemingly out of nowhere, the usually tranquil plumbing of the financial system went haywire. And that might be putting it mildly. The rate for general collateral repurchase agreements in the more than $2 trillion repo market reached a record 10% on Tuesday. The effective fed funds rate broke policy makers’ 2.25% cap on Wednesday. This isn’t supposed to happen.And yet, this week’s developments didn’t even merit a mention in the FOMC statement. Some analysts, like Matthew Hornbach at Morgan Stanley, said it was likely the Fed would announce permanent open market operations. Jeffrey Gundlach, chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital, said in a webcast on Tuesday that the central bank might expand its balance sheet as a way of “baby stepping” to more quantitative easing.This doesn’t mean the Fed doesn’t care, or that it won’t ultimately adopt those measures. Most likely, it just didn’t have enough time to react in a big way. Policy makers did drop the interest rate on excess reserves, or IOER, by 30 basis points to regain control over short-term rates. The IOER rate had been set at the upper bound of the fed funds range until June 2018, when the Fed raised it by only 20 basis points. It’s now down to 1.8%, while the 25-basis-point cut to the fed funds rate sets the range at 1.75% to 2%. Basically, if stress in funding markets keeps pushing short-term rates higher, the sharper cut in IOER makes it somewhat less likely that the fed funds rate will breach the upper bound.Powell eventually addressed repo markets head-on, largely at the prodding of reporters:  “Going forward, we’re going to be very closely monitoring market developments and assessing their implications for the appropriate level of reserves.And we’re going to be assessing the question of when it will be appropriate to resume the organic growth of our balance sheet. And I’m sure we’ll be revisiting that question during this inter-meeting period and certainly at our next meeting.We’ve always said that the level is uncertain. That’s something we’ve tried to be very clear about. We’ve invested lots of time talking to many of the large holders of reserves to assess what they say is their demand for reserves…But yes, there’s real uncertainty, and it is certainly possible that we’ll need to resume the organic growth of the balance sheet earlier than we thought. That’s always been a possibility.”The key word he seemed to stress was “organic.” That’s because any hint of expanding the balance sheet can be misconstrued as a resumption of post-crisis quantitative easing. However, it would be a mistake to consider it the same as QE. Hornbach explained it eloquently on Bloomberg TV before the Fed’s decision:“Quantitative easing, the purpose of that is to expand reserves in the system from the status quo of the reserves that are needed to keep liquidity and the fed funds target within that range. When you start losing control of the target rate, you need to increase reserves in the system, but that’s not necessarily quantitative easing as we know it in a traditional sense. They’re not trying to ease monetary policy, they’re trying to get better control over that short-term interest rate.”That’s the type of nuance that can get lost on investors if the Fed, and those who write about it, aren’t careful.In fact, Wednesday’s interest-rate decision could be seen as something of a “hawkish cut.” Policy makers’ “dot plot” signaled sharp divisions among policy makers, as Powell predicted, with the median estimates calling for no more rate cuts through 2020. It then shows one quarter-point hike in 2021 and another in 2022, albeit with many different estimates.Five of them appeared to indicate they didn’t agree with the decision to reduce rates on Wednesday. That almost certainly includes Esther George and Eric Rosengren, who openly dissented. James Bullard dissented as well, but because he favored a 50-basis-point cut. On any other Fed day, this squabble between the hawks and doves would take center stage. After all, it’s the first decision with three dissents since 2016 and the first with dissents in both directions since mid-2013. Citigroup Inc.’s Economic Surprise Index, for one, suggests those who opposed easing policy have a point: It’s at the highest level since April 2018. President Donald Trump, to no one’s surprise, sides with Bullard. He tweeted almost immediately after the Fed decision that Powell and the central bank have no “guts.”The real test of the Fed’s mettle will be if the short-term rate markets continue to exhibit stress. The New York Fed has been the subject of market ridicule for having to cancel its first overnight repo operation in a decade on Tuesday because of technical difficulties and for being late to do so in the first place. Powell said that funding markets “have no implications for the economy or the stance of monetary policy.” That’s true — but only until they do.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    FirstFT: Today’s top stories

    FT subscribers can click here to receive FirstFT every day by email. First off: is free to read for everyone today. If you have a friend or colleague who would be interested in any articles curated ...

  • Why Morgan Stanley (MS) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

    Why Morgan Stanley (MS) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

    Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Morgan Stanley (MS) have what it takes? Let's find out.

  • Morgan Stanley (MS) Upgraded to Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

    Morgan Stanley (MS) Upgraded to Buy: What Does It Mean for the Stock?

    Morgan Stanley (MS) might move higher on growing optimism about its earnings prospects, which is reflected by its upgrade to a Zacks Rank 2 (Buy).

  • Business Wire

    Morgan Stanley Declares Quarterly Dividends on Its Preferred Stock

    Morgan Stanley today declared a regular dividend on the outstanding shares of each of the following preferred stock issues:

  • Reuters

    Morgan Stanley retains billing as top adviser in activist fights -Refinitiv data

    Morgan Stanley ranked as the top financial adviser in activist campaigns during the first six months of 2019 while Goldman Sachs and Spotlight Advisors each added clients and tied for second place, according to Refinitiv data. Holding onto the No. 1 spot, Morgan Stanley advised 19 companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and United Technologies Corp, in the first half of 2019. A year ago, when activists launched more campaigns overall, Morgan Stanley counseled 23 companies in the first six months of 2018.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Intel, Adobe Systems, Mondelez International, Morgan Stanley and Arista Networks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Intel, Adobe Systems, Mondelez International, Morgan Stanley and Arista Networks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Intel, Adobe Systems, Mondelez International, Morgan Stanley and Arista Networks

  • Prime Brokerage Services Are Coming to Crypto
    Insider Monkey

    Prime Brokerage Services Are Coming to Crypto

    “When institutional money?” was the cry of retail investors through 2018, as crypto assets sagged and hopes of salvation faded. Institutions have since entered the space, and began to take up positions in bitcoin and other leading assets, but it would be exaggerating to say there’s been a stampede from the direction of Wall Street. […]

  • Bloomberg

    Morgan Stanley Robot Learns by Reading Unreadable Muni Documents

    (Bloomberg) -- They’re longer than classics like Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” and modern hits like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” but nowhere nearly as engaging.Yet each week, American state and local governments crank out the doorstops by the dozens, creating a dismal stack of soporific homework for money managers studying whether or not to buy their bonds.So Morgan Stanley, one of Wall Street’s biggest investment banks, experimented with farming out the job of reading 120,000-word bond prospectuses to robots, seeing if the results could yield a sort of CliffsNotes that may separate the signal from the noise.Strategists Michael Zezas and Mark Schmidt ran 150 official statements through a machine-learning program. They said it revealed some patterns that could help investors avoid credit-rating downgrades or defaults without reading through hundreds of pages of reports.They focused on bonds issued by local agencies that are backed by riskier projects like continuing-care retirement centers, hospitals and speculative real estate developments. That’s where doing close research is most important because local governments almost never default on their own bonds. Here’s some lessons:More words, better odds: Official statements for continuing-care retirement centers that didn’t default averaged 20,194 words longer than those that did, they found. The tendency also held true for so-called dirt bonds sold for real estate projects.Executive bios: Speculative developments tend to rely on the word “Mr.” to highlight the management of the project, since the riskier deals need to play up their executives’ skills as a key selling point.Boring is better: Higher-quality debt tended to have more references to the financial statement than defaulted or downgraded debt. The more “boring” the documents, the better, the strategists said.It was Morgan Stanley’s first time using natural language processing on municipal-bond issuers’ official statements, Zezas said in an email. The bank reported the results to clients to show how Morgan Stanley takes a quantitative approach to its research.He said they used relatively new techniques and principles outlined by a Stanford University professor, who experimented with it as a way to sift through the huge amounts of information involved in modern political affairs.Zezas said the bank plans to further test its conclusions. Their next step is to gather more official statements, get more data and solicit feedback from clients. The bank said the findings could help analysts when they are asked to provide a quick take on a new bond deal, not serve as their computerized replacements.“We don’t recommend cursory credit analysis,” Zezas and Schmidt said in their report to clients. “However, sometimes a simple rule-of-thumb can help.”\--With assistance from Jeremy R. Cooke.To contact the reporter on this story: Amanda Albright in New York at aalbright4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Campbell at, William Selway, Michael B. MaroisFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ultra-Low Rates Are No Panacea for Stocks

    Ultra-Low Rates Are No Panacea for Stocks

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- September is only halfway done and already the S&P 500 Index is up 20% for the year. This is a remarkable achievement, given that earnings growth has stalled and the bond market is pricing in almost a 40% chance of a recession over the next 12 months. That just shows the degree to which lower interest rates have supported stocks. And yet, as is often the case in life, too much of a good thing isn’t always, well, good.This year’s rally – during which the S&P 500’s forward price-to-earnings multiple expanded to 17.6 from 14.5 at the start of January – can be credited to the Federal Reserve’s dovish pivot, which led to the central bank’s first rate cut since 2008 and sparked big declines in market rates. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note dropped to as low as 1.43% earlier this month from 2.80% back in January.Simple discounted cash-flow analysis shows how lower rates make future earnings more valuable now, justifying higher multiples for equities even without profit growth. So, logic would dictate that the lower rates go, the better for equities. But the experience in Europe shows that there comes a point where ever lower rates begin to work against stocks.In a research note last week, the strategists at Bank of America pointed out how even though 10-year bond yields in Germany have fallen below zero, stocks there only trade at a multiple of about 14 times earnings. That’s little changed from mid-2014, when yields were around 1.25% and the European Central Bank cut its benchmark deposit rate to below zero. The same is true for the broader euro zone, with the Euro Stoxx 600 Index trading at 14.5 times projected earnings, not much different from mid-2014.Of course, the euro zone’s struggles are worse than the U.S. Still, the increasing globalization of the world economy means America is having a much harder time shrugging off the slowdown elsewhere. Morgan Stanley says the U.S.’s share of global gross domestic product has shrunk from 22% in 1990 to 15% today. That’s a big reason traders are pricing in at least three more Fed rate cuts over the next 12 months, bringing its target rate for overnight loans between banks to 1.50% from 2.25% currently.On top of that, the number of Wall Street strategists slashing their Treasury yield estimates has grown in recent weeks, citing the outlook for weaker global growth and inflation. UBS Group AG and BNP Paribas SA, which are among the select group of dealers authorized to trade with the Fed, both slashed their 10-year forecasts, predicting yields will drop to 1% by the end of 2019. Could yields go even lower, tracking those in Europe and Japan by following below zero? Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan doesn’t thing that’s a crazy idea, telling Bloomberg News last month that he wouldn’t be surprised if they turned negative.It’s true that the stock market posted a massive rally between early 2009 and mid-2015, rising as much as 215%, as the Fed kept rates near zero and pumped money directly into the financial system via quantitative easing. But that was a time when investors largely believed that central banks still had a lot of arrows left in their quivers to stimulate the economy. That’s not really the case now. The S&P 500 fell four straight days after the Fed cut rates on July 31, dropping a total of 5.59%.Also back then, profits were in recovery mode and stocks were relative cheap, with the forward price-to-earnings ratio holding below 14 for much of that time and peaking at around 17 times in late 2014 – about where it is now - just before the S&P 500 turned in its first annual decline since 2008. This year, though, earnings growth is flat and Bank of America’s strategists are telling its clients that forecasts for an 11% increase next year are “too high.” Stocks have had a good run, with the S&P 500 closing last week at 3,007. The median estimate of strategists surveyed by Bloomberg in January only expected the benchmark to rise to 2,913 this year. But with economists moving up their time frame for when the next recession will hit to 2020 from 2021, earnings estimates coming down and price-to-earnings ratios on the high side, it won’t be easy for stocks to keep marching higher even if the Fed does continue to slash rates.  To contact the author of this story: Robert Burgess at bburgess@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Treasuries Dive, Sending 10-Year Yield to Highest in Six Weeks

    Treasuries Dive, Sending 10-Year Yield to Highest in Six Weeks

    (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries extended their September tumble, sending the benchmark 10-year yield to its highest level since early August, amid stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data.Bonds fell after August retail sales and the September University of Michigan consumer sentiment index increased more than forecast, buoying confidence in the economic expansion. Yields across the curve rose, with the 10-year climbing more than 12 basis points to 1.90%, up from a three-year low of 1.43% early this month. The spread between 2-year and 10-year yields, considered a recession indicator when it inverts, as it did in August for the first time since 2007, widened back above 9 basis points.The decline in Treasuries comes as some central-bank officials are re-evaluating the effectiveness of easing efforts ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Sept. 18 meeting. Odds of a quarter-point rate cut, which futures had fully priced in for weeks, slipped to reflect a small chance of no change. Helping fuel the move, top European Central Bank officials questioned the quantitative-easing plan unveiled Thursday. Yields climbed across developed markets: In Japan, the 10-year rate had its biggest intraday jump in more than year.“Central banks are looking at how much effect they are having by continuing to lower rates,” said Jason Ware, head of institutional trading for 280Securities in San Francisco. “The market may have overshot to the downside and driven yields too low with an overly grim outlook on what’s happening in the economy.”Traders also pared expectations for how much more the Fed will lower rates this year, and now see less than a half-point of additional easing. At one point last month, the market had priced in almost 70 basis points of further cuts in 2019 as trade friction mounted.The increase in U.S. 10-year yields spurred a jump in futures volume as the rate exceeded its 50-day average.As Treasury yields surged, U.S. dollar swap spreads -- the gap between the fixed component of a swap and the matching Treasury yield -- also climbed. That’s typically a sign of paying flows exacerbating moves that support higher yields as big investors look to reduce portfolio duration.Lack of interest from homeowners to refinance their mortgages in a rising yield environment may be one of the factors that would drive investors to reduce duration by selling Treasuries, or paying in swaps.In August, Treasuries had their biggest monthly gain since the depths of the 2008 financial crisis and yields tumbled on the back of sliding yields in Europe and concern about the U.S.-China trade war. The magnitude of the rally left the market vulnerable to a sell-off, interest-rate strategists at Morgan Stanley said last week.(Adds swaps in sixth, seventh paragraphs and strategists in eighth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Edward Bolingbroke.To contact the reporter on this story: Vivien Lou Chen in San Francisco at vchen1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at, Mark Tannenbaum, Elizabeth StantonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Top Analyst Reports for Intel, Adobe & Mondelez

    Top Analyst Reports for Intel, Adobe & Mondelez

    Top Analyst Reports for Intel, Adobe & Mondelez

  • Deutsche Becomes 1st to Reach Settlement in Bond-Rig Probe

    Deutsche Becomes 1st to Reach Settlement in Bond-Rig Probe

    Deutsche Bank (DB) agrees to pay settlement charges despite not admitting the allegations. Also, it agrees to share information with the regulators that can help prove other banks guilty.