Here’s what’s important in the financial world this morning:
Banks: On Tuesday in a press release, the Federal Reserve released the latest results of its bank stress tests. It showed that the majority of the biggest U.S. banks met “supervisory expectations for capital adequacy” amid estimated losses in a theoretical economic scenario.
The “winners” included many banks: JPMorgan, U.S. Bancorp, BBT&T, Morgan Stanley, American Express, Wells Fargo, State Street Bank of NY Mellon, Fifth Third, Capital One, PNC Financial, KeyCorp, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and Regions Financial.
The "losers" included: Citigroup, Ally, Suntrust, and MetLife.
U.S.: A drop in exports and a rise in imports widened the broadest measure of the U.S. trade deficit at the end of last year. The increase pushed the gap to its widest point in three years. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the current account trade deficit increased 15.3 percent in the October-December quarter, to $124.1 billion.
A higher trade deficit acts as a drag on growth. It means more goods and services are being purchased from overseas, while U.S. companies are making fewer sales overseas.
Exports decreased slightly to $380.4 billion, in part because of a drop in overseas demand for U.S. airline tickets. Imports ticked up to $566.7 billion. The increase was partly driven by increased purchases of imported airplanes.
For the year, the current account deficit rose 0.6 percent to $473.4 billion, the largest imbalance since 2008.
[Editor’s note: portions of the above are from a cross post that originally appeared on Wall St. Cheat Sheet.]
The Associated Press contributed to this report.