WFC - Wells Fargo & Company

NYSE - Nasdaq Real Time Price. Currency in USD
26.67
-2.03 (-7.09%)
As of 2:55PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close28.70
Open27.02
Bid26.71 x 800
Ask26.72 x 1300
Day's Range26.20 - 27.37
52 Week Range25.11 - 54.75
Volume34,561,968
Avg. Volume32,728,211
Market Cap109.044B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.15
PE Ratio (TTM)6.58
EPS (TTM)N/A
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield2.04 (7.11%)
Ex-Dividend DateFeb 05, 2020
1y Target EstN/A
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  • Barrons.com

    Wells Fargo Looks Exposed to Coming Mortgage Crunch, Analyst Says

    Vivek Juneja, analyst at JPMorgan Chase estimates that Wells Fargo has 12.6% of mortgage servicing market share. Ginnie Mae announced it was launching a program to help mortgage servicers avoid a cash crunch as borrowers miss payments.

  • Wells Fargo Has $384 Billion of Lending Power Stymied by Fed Cap
    Bloomberg

    Wells Fargo Has $384 Billion of Lending Power Stymied by Fed Cap

    (Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. is a leading lender to small and midsize U.S. companies, home buyers and commercial property investors, and has capacity to unleash about $384 billion of additional loans to customers trying to weather the coronavirus pandemic.But the bank can’t -- because it’s in the regulatory doghouse.The Federal Reserve remains reluctant to ease or lift its 2018 order capping the San Francisco-based lender’s assets because the company has yet to fully address concerns that prompted the unprecedented sanction, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The cap effectively prevents the bank from deploying a mountain of pent-up capital that could back a surge of lending.As the coronavirus pandemic began upending the economy in recent weeks, it quickly emerged that Wells Fargo’s representatives had privately broached the idea of at least temporarily lifting the restriction so it could help more customers. The Fed has yet to publicly disclose its decision.Behind the scenes, Fed officials are skeptical the bank is ready, the people said. Wells Fargo’s new leaders have been making progress but have yet to prove they have made adequate reforms to prevent the consumer abuses that fueled scandals in recent years. And they have confidentially warned the Fed they will miss an April deadline to submit a required plan for improvements.“While we cannot comment on regulatory matters, Wells Fargo is focused on satisfying the requirements of the consent order,” the company said in a statement. “During these challenging times, we are very focused on doing all we can for our clients while operating under the constraints of the asset cap.”Most FirepowerThe Fed’s consent order from February 2018 caps Wells Fargo’s assets at their 2017 level. At the end of last year, the bank was just $24 billion short of that level -- all the room it had to grow unless the ban is rescinded. With credit lines being drawn by companies and deposits flowing in, it may already have gotten there.Wells Fargo executives have made internal adjustments over the years to ensure they can meet customers’ needs. The bank should be able to keep meeting demands from existing clients, but it might be constrained in ramping up lending significantly as new ones seek help, one of the people said.The appeal puts the Fed in a difficult spot -- conflicted between its role as a tough regulator of financial giants and its current efforts as a central bank trying to ensure ample cash for the struggling economy. The Fed has encouraged the biggest lenders to use their excess capital and dip into additional buffers to expand lending during the pandemic.Bloomberg calculated Wells Fargo’s capacity for additional lending based on its capital at the end of 2019. Together, the nation’s eight banking titans had enough then to ramp up lending by $1.6 trillion. But ironically, the firm with the most firepower among them can’t proceed.It would be tricky to lift the ban temporarily, because it would entail setting a time line for undoing any growth. It’s one thing to prevent a balance sheet from expanding, quite another to shrink it significantly after making hundreds of billions of dollars in ongoing loans.Chief Executive Officer Charlie Scharf took over in October after two previous CEOs frustrated regulators and politicians who accused the bank of failing to act quickly enough to fix problems. Unlike his predecessors, both longtime Wells Fargo veterans, Scharf is an outsider, and he’s been developing plans to more radically overhaul the company. At a congressional hearing this year, he acknowledged there’s much left to do.The bank’s representatives didn’t try pressing a case to the Fed that Scharf’s work on reforms is done, the people said. Rather, they noted the scope of the emergency facing the country and the bank’s willingness to help. Without the cap, Wells Fargo would be able to arrange significantly more financing for consumers, local businesses, large corporations and municipalities.Wells Fargo has been in Washington’s crosshairs since a variety of scandals emerged following the 2016 revelation that employees had opened millions of potentially fake accounts to meet sales goals. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed deep frustration with the bank, with some signaling the Fed would face a backlash if it’s lifted. But there’s a chance that the virus’s impact on the economy might shift the political landscape.On Saturday, Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, asked Fed Chair Jerome Powell for information on Wells Fargo’s request and what the regulator makes of it. She wants his staff to provide a briefing to the committee in coming days on its supervision of the bank.Desperate CompaniesCompanies eager for cash have drawn down credit lines and arranged new facilities, obtaining at least $177 billion in financing since March 9, when Bloomberg News began tracking the data. Behind the scenes, bankers have sought to persuade corporate clients that they don’t need to tap cash preemptively -- often for reasons that have less to do with liquidity than profitability. That suggests that even if Wells Fargo’s cap were lifted, it may not rush to deploy all of the money.While lending boosts the asset side of banks’ balance sheets, investors fleeing capital markets have generated a flood of deposits, increasing the liability side. By March 18, the 25 largest commercial banks had collectively gained $420 billion of deposits this year, according to Fed data.Wells Fargo had 9.6% of the market share for U.S. deposits in 2019, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. If it maintained that share, the influx would amount to about $40 billion, potentially pushing the bank above its 2017 asset cap.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.

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    GuruFocus.com

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  • Bank of America pledges $250M for CARES Act small business loan program
    American City Business Journals

    Bank of America pledges $250M for CARES Act small business loan program

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  • More banks to temporarily close Tampa Bay branches, limit access during coronavirus outbreak
    American City Business Journals

    More banks to temporarily close Tampa Bay branches, limit access during coronavirus outbreak

    With the COVID-19 coronavirus sweeping across Florida, many national and regional banks have temporarily closed or restricted access to branches across the Tampa Bay region. Bank of America and Wells Fargo, which are tied for the most branches in the region according to Tampa Bay Business Journal research, each announced they would temporarily close some locations. Bank of America has temporarily closed a handful of its 121 locations in the region, although a spokesman could not be reached to confirm the exact amount.

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    Yahoo Finance

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  • TheStreet.com

    Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo Upgraded to Hold by Berenberg

    Berenberg is bearish on the banking sector but Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were upgraded to hold at the firm.

  • MarketWatch

    Viacom paces S&P 500 decliners after Bernstein slashes price target

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  • St. Louis wealth adviser: How givers should respond to COVID-19-related needs
    American City Business Journals

    St. Louis wealth adviser: How givers should respond to COVID-19-related needs

    We asked Elizabeth Mannen, private wealth adviser and managing director of investments with Mannen Financial Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, to discuss what givers and charitable foundations need to do going forward through the coronavirus crisis.

  • Big banks agree to defer mortgage payments in California for those affected by coronavirus
    MarketWatch

    Big banks agree to defer mortgage payments in California for those affected by coronavirus

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  • N.J. Surge on Track to Echo N.Y.; Italy Cases Slow: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    N.J. Surge on Track to Echo N.Y.; Italy Cases Slow: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York said the stimulus package working its way through Congress is inadequate. He also restricted access to a malaria drug that President Donald Trump has touted as a treatment for the novel coronavirus.Spain had its deadliest day yet. In Britain, the government moved to shut Parliament and Prince Charles tested positive. European Union leaders inched toward a rescue package. Germany unleashed a historic bailout.Russian President Vladimir Putin postponed a public vote on constitutional changes next month that would allow him to rule to 2036. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro, echoing Trump, urged the country to resume normal life to protect the economy.Key Developments:Cases top 458,000; 20,807 dead, 113,687 recovered: Johns HopkinsTrump will stop using the term ‘Chinese virus,’ easing blame gameTokyo asks people to stay inside as new cases spur lockdown riskIndia locked down, U.K. shuts Parliament; Iran, Singapore tighten curbsFired Americans send state unemployment websites crashingWorld leaders get sweeping powers they may never give upThe humming of Chinese plants returns as rest of world reelsSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. To see the impact on oil and commodities demand, click here.California in Deal With Banks for Mortgage Relief (4:50 p.m. NY)Wells Fargo & Co., US Bancorp, Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have agreed to a 90-waiver of residential mortgage payments for Californians affected by the virus, Governor Gavin Newsom said. He also is considering a state-wide moratorium on evictions, a move some cities and counties have already made.“We’d reserve the right to look at a state overlay,” Newsom said at a briefing. “We have a team reviewing the legal parameters of that issue.”There have been 2,535 confirmed cases in the most populous U.S. state, a 17% increase from Tuesday, Newsom said. He praised the stimulus bill being considered by Congress and said more help will be needed, noting that one million Californians have filed for unemployment insurance since March 13.N.J.’s Virus Numbers on Track to Echo N.Y.’s (4:20 p.m. NY)Northern New Jersey is on track for the kind of viral surge that New York is experiencing, the state’s health commissioner said on Wednesday.Judy Persichilli said the trends in her state were tracking those of neighboring New York, which projects a peak infection rate in 14 to 21 days.“When we see this peak in New York, I think we can expect Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties will follow the trends,” she said at a news conference in Trenton on New Jersey’s response to the pandemic.Read full story hereU.K.’s Johnson Threatens Action to Stop Profiteering (4 p.m. NY)U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he’s considering making profiteering illegal as Britain battles the coronavirus, following reports that some firms had been hiking prices on essential products.“We are looking very carefully at what’s going on,” Johnson said at a press conference Wednesday. “I do not want to see people exploiting peoples’ need at a critical time, a national emergency.”WHO: Countries Wasted Time Amid Spread (2:52 p.m. NY)The world squandered a window of opportunity to fight the coronavirus and many actions should have been taken one or two months ago, according to World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.Worldwide lockdowns have created a second window of opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted, he said at a press briefing in Geneva. There are 150 countries with fewer than 100 reported cases, he said, adding that those in lockdown should use this time to contain the virus.“The last thing any country needs is to reopen schools and businesses only to close them again because of resurgent cases,” he said.New Cases Decline in Italy (1:50 p.m. NY)Italy reported that new coronavirus cases fell on Wednesday, after nearly three weeks of lockdown measures. There were 5,210 new cases, compared with 5,249 a day earlier.Fatalities from the disease over the past 24 hours totaled 683, compared with 743 on Tuesday, according to figures from the civil protection agency. Confirmed cases in the country now total 74,386.The news came as the government broadened rules that shield companies from hostile takeovers as the virus takes a heavy toll on the economy.Cuomo: Stimulus a ‘Drop in the Bucket’ (12:54 p.m. NY)The stimulus package working through Congress is “terrible” for New York state, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., Governor Andrew Cuomo said.The $2 trillion in aid approved by the U.S. Senate includes $3.8 billion for New York state and $1.3 billion for New York City, Cuomo said, which he called a “drop in the bucket.” Lost tax revenue will cost the state as much as $15 billion, he said.Cuomo has been a chief critic of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, demanding Trump invoke his national-security authority to speed production of ventilators and other medical equipment.N.Y. Restricts Access To Malaria Drugs (12:15 p.m. NY)New York Governor Andrew Cuomo joined other states in restricting access to malaria treatments that President Donald Trump has touted for the novel coronavirus despite a lack of proof they will work.Cuomo updated an executive order Monday evening to block pharmacists from filling prescriptions for the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for any uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration unless it is for a patient who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is part of a clinical trial. The medications are not approved to treat coronavirus.The government doesn’t typically impose on the practice of medicine. Doctors are typically allowed to prescribe drugs for any illness or condition, not just those a specific medication is approved to treat. Ohio, Texas, Idaho and Nevada have also moved to limit access to the drugs.Most NYC Covid-19 Dead Had Other Health Problems (11:30 a.m. NY)Ninety-five percent of New York City’s almost 200 deaths from the new coronavirus had underlying health conditions, though almost half were under the age of 75, according to data published by the city’s health department on Tuesday.The deaths, as well as data on cases and hospitalizations, mimic the patterns found in other cities with major outbreaks. New York City had more than 15,000 Covid-19 cases as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the largest outbreak in the U.S.Read the full story hereSigns of Slowing Spread in Netherlands (10:49 a.m. NY)New hospitalized cases of the coronavirus in the Netherlands seem to be leveling off after a recent rise, according to the RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.That may indicate a decrease in the rate at which the virus is spreading in the Netherlands, RIVM said in its daily update, adding that the next few days should show whether the curve is really flattening.The daily tally of confirmed cases rose 15% to 6,412. That compares with a rise of 17% on Tuesday.Home-Testing Kits Coming to U.K. (10:34 a.m. NY)Sharon Peacock, director of the U.K.’s National Infection Service, said 3.5 million virus home-testing kits have been ordered and will be available in days once scientists in Oxford have finished evaluating them for public use.The blood tests, which check for antibodies, will be sold via Amazon and pharmacy chains so people can test themselves, Peacock told a panel of lawmakers in Parliament. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has been criticized for not carrying out enough testing during the coronavirus crisis.U.K.’s Sunak to Detail Support for Self-Employed (10:34 a.m. NY)U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Thursday will announce a package of assistance for self-employed Britons. It’ll be Sunak’s fourth emergency package to help British companies and workers cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, he guaranteed 80% of the wages of those with jobs that are at risk because of the outbreak.Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman also said authorities will crack down on people profiteering from the coronavirus crisis.Putin Delays Vote on Plan to Stay in Power (9:50 a.m. NY)President Vladimir Putin postponed a public vote on constitutional changes next month that would allow him to rule to 2036 as Russia attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.Putin, who has promised Russians final say on amendments to the constitution he has rushed through, said the vote planned for April 22 would be rescheduled at a later date.Saying Russia couldn’t cut itself off from the pandemic, he said that people wouldn’t work next week, though workers would still get paid. He announced the delay during a hastily arranged national address Wednesday.Though its totals remain well below those in some big European countries, Russia reported that coronavirus cases jumped by a third over the past day to 658.Ackman Puts Part of His Fortune in Covid-19 Testing (9:04 a.m. NY)Billionaire Bill Ackman said he invested a portion of his personal wealth to help manufacture antibody testing kits produced by Covaxx, a newly formed subsidiary of closely-held United Biomedical Inc.Ackman has repeatedly called for a complete shutdown of the U.S. for 30 days to help combat the spread of the virus. He has also called for antibody testing, like the one Covaxx develops, across the country to determine who has already contracted the virus.Bullard Says 2Q Will See Most Pandemic Disruption (8:52 a.m. NY)St. Louis Fed President James Bullard told CNBC the second quarter is likely to see the most disruption from the coronavirus outbreak, but the economy should bounce back by year’s end. “If we can get this to work right, everything will snap back to normal once this is over,” he said.Bullard tempered earlier remarks predicting that the U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter. “This number will be unparalleled, but don’t get discouraged.”Switzerland Expands Entry Curbs (8:47 a.m. NY)Switzerland on Wednesday stepped up the curbs on incoming travel to include all countries within the Schengen area. It previously had limited arrivals from Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Austria.The Schengen area is a passport-free travel zone among 26 European nations.Portugal Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Rise (8:35 a.m. NY)The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Portugal increased 27% to 2,995 on Wednesday from 2,362. That compares with a daily increase of 15% reported on Tuesday and a 29% gain on Monday.The total number of deaths increased to 43 on Wednesday from 33 reported through Tuesday morning; 22 patients have now recovered, unchanged from Tuesday. Almost 80% of coronavirus-related deaths in Portugal so far are of people aged 70 or older.Schumer Expects Senate to Pass Stimulus Deal Today (8:34 a.m. NY)Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer calls the stimulus deal the “art of compromise” and says help is on the way for American workers, state and local governments and small businesses. He told CNN he expects the Senate to pass the bill today.One in 20 Britons has lost a job because of the outbreak and 9% experienced a reduction in hours or pay, according to YouGov. The survey was taken on the first two days of the U.K.’s official lockdown, with the government banning all unnecessary movement of people for at least three weeks and requiring the closure of non-essential businesses. There have been about 477,000 new claims for state support payments, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.EU Leaders Call for Corona Bonds (8:26 a.m. NY)Nine EU leaders, including Emmanuel Macron and Giuseppe Conte, urged the introduction of so-called coronabonds in a letter cited by AFP on Wednesday.India Delays Plans for Population Register (7:50 a.m. NY)The government has indefinitely postponed plans to begin surveys leading to its next census and a comprehensive population register. The process was to have begun in April and was seen as a precursor to a national citizens register that, along with a new citizenship law, had led to angry protests across India since December.India is likely to agree on an economic stimulus package of more than 1.5 trillion rupees (about $20 billion), Reuters reported, citing two unidentified people familiar with the plans.Italian Opposition Pushes Takeover Protection for Weakened Banks (7:50 a.m. NY)Italy must toughen the rules shielding strategic sectors from hostile takeovers because the coronavirus has left banks, insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms vulnerable to foreign predators, according to a senior opposition lawmaker.Senator Adolfo Urso, vice-president of the parliament’s security and intelligence committee, said in an interview Wednesday that he will file amendments to the government’s decree on a 25 billion-euro ($27 billion) stimulus package for the economy by Friday afternoon.Stock Rebound Fades (7:45 a.m. NY)European equities swung between gains and losses in a volatile session as optimism about a U.S. stimulus package dimmed amid renewed worries over the economic blow from the coronavirus outbreak. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was up 0.6% after having earlier risen as much as 4.8%. U.S. stock futures declined and Treasuries gained.Amazon, Walmart Struggle to Cope as India Enters Lockdown (7:45 a.m. NY)The country’s 1.3 billion people are in a three-week lockdown, sending many to scour the web for food and daily essentials. But unlike in China, where online fresh grocery services offered a lifeline during its Covid-19 outbreak, Indian authorities are stopping food trucks on highways, and shutting down warehouses and rice mills. They’re also preventing delivery and supply-chain workers from doing their jobs.(A previous version corrected the day of Governor Cuomo’s executive order)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.

  • Triangle banks shift tactics to continue serving clients amid pandemic
    American City Business Journals

    Triangle banks shift tactics to continue serving clients amid pandemic

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  • TD, Wells offering bonuses to employees unable to work remotely
    American City Business Journals

    TD, Wells offering bonuses to employees unable to work remotely

    Philadelphia’s two largest banks have joined their competitors in offering bonuses to employees to help offset financial hardships created by the spread of coronavirus. TD Bank Group (NYSE: TD), the Philadelphia region’s second-largest bank with $22.7 billion in deposits and 129 branches, said Tuesday that all U.S. employees deemed essential and unable to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive a one-time $1,000 bonuses. The extra compensation will be disbursed in two $500 payments in April and May. Eligible employees will also receive two additional vacation or personal days for work during the same period.

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    American City Business Journals

    Wells Fargo to temporarily shutter some local branches, give cash awards

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  • Wall Street bonuses set to sink in 2020 after 3% rise in 2019
    Reuters

    Wall Street bonuses set to sink in 2020 after 3% rise in 2019

    The average Wall Street bonus is poised to sink this year after growing 3% in 2019 to $164,000, as the coronavirus pandemic causes steep losses in the financial industry, according to a report released by a top New York state financial regulator on Tuesday. "The securities industry had a good year in 2019, but the serious damage that COVID-19 is inflicting on financial markets and the global economy will sharply reduce industry profits this year," New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus. Pretax profits for the securities divisions of New York Stock Exchange member firms rose 2.8% to $28.1 billion in 2019, the fourth year of consecutive growth for NYSE broker dealers.

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    Zacks

    Implied Volatility Surging for Wells Fargo (WFC) Stock Options

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  • Wells Fargo to pay special compensation to front-line workers amid coronavirus outbreak
    Reuters

    Wells Fargo to pay special compensation to front-line workers amid coronavirus outbreak

    The San Francisco-based bank said all of its domestic full-time employees who make less than $100,000 a year would receive a pre-tax payment of $600 and part-time employees would get a $300 bonus. Front-line employees like branch workers, call-center staff and technology specialists who are required to come into the office as others work from home because of the coronavirus outbreak will receive an additional $200 per pay period starting April 17 for up to five paychecks, the memo said. Management has also decided not to pay out a discretionary profit-sharing 401(k) contribution for 2019, citing the bank's financial performance last year and the "extraordinary environment," said the memo signed by Chief Executive Charlie Scharf.

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    GuruFocus.com

    Weekly CEO Buys Highlight

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  • Fed Unleashes Unprecedented Measures to Shore Up Reeling Economy
    Bloomberg

    Fed Unleashes Unprecedented Measures to Shore Up Reeling Economy

    (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve, racing again to contain mounting economic and financial-market fallout from the coronavirus, unveiled a sweeping series of measures that pushed the 106-year old central bank deeper into uncharted territory.In a surprise announcement Monday before markets opened in New York, the U.S. central bank said it will buy unlimited amounts of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to keep borrowing costs at rock-bottom levels -- and to help ensure chaotic markets function properly. It also set up programs to ensure credit flows to corporations as well as state and local governments.The Fed’s latest steps landed as investors wait for U.S. lawmakers to deliver a multi-trillion dollar package of coronavirus support, which failed to come together Sunday when Democrats objected that it did not do enough for average Americans.Following a string of emergency measures last week, the moves also increasingly push the central bank into new territory by providing direct support to U.S. employers, municipalities and households, which would traditionally be viewed as fiscal policy.“Wow, just wow,” George Rusnak, head of investment management at Wells Fargo Private Bank, said on Bloomberg Television. “Hopefully you’ll come out of this with some fiscal stimulus as well, and you’ll be set with good growth opportunities in the long run.”In a sign, however, of just how unnerved investors are by the pandemic, the Fed’s moves failed to spark anything beyond a brief rally in stocks and corporate bonds Monday after weeks of staggering losses.Stocks fell 4.5% in New York. Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries initially sank below 0.69% as investors digested the news before pushing back to around 0.74%.Some pockets of the market reacted positively to the Fed moves. Signs of stress in the corporate debt sector eased, with the CDX Investment Grade index spread tightening. Bond ETFs eligible for central-bank purchases rallied and the dollar retreated versus major peers.Economic ShutdownMonday’s Fed action followed an already-dizzying number of steps taken by Chairman Jerome Powell in the past three weeks that would have been unthinkable just months ago. They represent a dramatic reaction to the sudden stop inflicted on the economy by the contagion and by the subsequent panic among investors.Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs separately joined an emergency call to work on a joint response to the economic blow dealt by the pandemic.The U.S. economy is reeling as cases rise and the death toll mounts. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the U.S. unemployment rate may hit 30% in the second quarter, along with a 50% drop in gross domestic product. Morgan Stanley expects the U.S. economy to plummet 30% in the second quarter.The package included several unprecedented steps for the Fed, including intervention in the corporate bond market, purchases of commercial asset-backed mortgages and exchange-traded funds, and, if Congress clears the way, a significant Main Street lending program directly aimed at aiding small businesses.Not a ‘Slush Fund’“This is not a slush-fund,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox Business earlier on Monday. “It’s a mechanism we can use working with the Federal Reserve to provide another $4 trillion of liquidity into the market. That’s on top of the Fed’s balance sheet. This is a massive liquidity program.”Beyond the unlimited quantitative easing program, the new emergency facilities will employ a total of $300 billion, backed by $30 billion from the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund.Roberto Perli, a former Fed economist and partner at Cornerstone Macro LLC in Washington, said he expects those facilities to grow substantially if Congress moves ahead with plans to pump more money into the ESF.The draft of an economic aid bill currently being hashed out on Capitol Hill included $425 billion for the ESF to support Fed actions.The Fed’s new credit facilities carry limits on paying dividends and making stock buybacks for firms that defer interest payments, but have no explicit restrictions preventing beneficiaries from laying off workers.The Fed said a week ago it would buy at least $500 billion of Treasuries and $200 billion of agency MBS. The Fed will now make those purchases unlimited and will take on a slew of new efforts, many aimed at directly aiding employers and households, as well as cities and states.“This is a great step forward,” said Julia Coronado the president of MacroPolicy Perspectives. “Getting to the corporate bond market was critical. A lot of people needed to be clear the QE was unconstrained.”Other HighlightsTwo more programs were created to support large employers -- a Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility for new bond and loan issuance, and a Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility to provide liquidity for outstanding corporate bonds.Yet another program, a Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, will “enable the issuance of asset-backed securities backed by student loans, auto loans, credit card loans, loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and certain other assets.”The central bank also said it would expand the existing Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to include a wider range of securities, including municipal variable-rate demand notesFinally, the Fed said it would expand the existing Commercial Paper Funding Facility to also include high-quality municipal debt, another move to help cash-strapped states and cities.“The Fed’s latest moves signal a resounding ‘whatever it takes’ approach from the central bank, and dispel any notion that monetary policy makers are either sparing ammunition or running out of unconventional tools,” Andrew Husby and Carl Riccadonna, of Bloomberg Economics, wrote in a note to clients.(Updates with outlook for more actions in sixth paragraph, plus markets in ninth.)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.

  • GuruFocus.com

    Top Insider Buys Highlight for the Week of March 20

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