10 things you need to know in markets today

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know in markets on Wednesday.

BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, slashed the amount it paid out in commissions to Wall Street firms for research by more than half for its largest mutual fund over the last two years, according to filings. The cuts show the immense power large asset managers have to curb fees they pay banks and the diminishing role of sell-side research at a time when Wall Street firms are facing a slump in stock trading commissions.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon released his annual letter to shareholders. Dimon said he was worried that “something was wrong” in the US and there are six issues holding back economic growth. Dimon also expressed concerns over the low labour force participation rate in the US.

In the same letter Dimon also brought up his concerns with Brexit and the European Union. The JPMorgan CEO said that he hoped Brexit would bring the EU closer together but admitted that it could “result in political unrest that would force the EU to split apart.”

Credit Suisse Securities USA, a unit of Credit Suisse, and a former investment adviser named Sanford Katz have agreed to pay about $US8 million in fines to settle charges relating to improper investments, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said. According to the SEC’s orders issued on Tuesday, Credit Suisse collected about $US3.2 million in avoidable fees from clients during 2009-2014, and about $US2.5 million of that amount was generated from Sanford Katz’s advisory clients.

JAB Holdings, the Luxembourgish company that owns chains such as Krispy Kreme, Caribou Coffee, and Peet’s Coffee and Tea might soon add American sandwich shop Panera Bread to the mix. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that JAB Holding was in advanced talks to buy Panera, after breaking the news that Panera was for sale a day earlier.

Morgan Stanley made an error analysing Snapchat. On March 27, Morgan Stanley published an equity research note on Snap, the social media company it helped take public, putting a $US28 price target on the stock. Almost a day later, the bank issued a correction, changing a range of important metrics in its financial model but not the $US28 price target.

Prime Minister Theresa May has hinted that Britain could allow EU free movement to continue in some form after Brexit. “Once we’ve got the deal, once we’ve agreed what the new relationship will be for the future it will be necessary for there to be a period of time when businesses and governments are adjusting systems and so forth, depending on the nature of the deal – but a period of time when that deal will be implemented,” May told reporters on a trip to the Middle East.

Asian stocks traded cautiously on Wednesday, as investors move to the sidelines before a potentially tense meeting between Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week. As of 6.50 a.m. BST (1.50 a.m. ET) Japan’s Nikkei index has gained around 0.25%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has fallen by the same margin.

The world’s largest
banks, insurers, asset managers, and professional services firms have made some headway in getting more women into finance but are still failing to promote women, according to exclusive data from The Financial Times. O
ne key statistic demonstrated how the playing field for women is still unequal: “Women made up 25.5 per cent of senior roles in 2016, compared with 23.7 per cent in 2014.”

Obamacare’s popularity has gone through the roof after Trump’s election. According to a new Gallup poll, 55% of American surveyed approve of the Affordable Care Act, the law known as Obamacare. This is the first time in Gallup’s polling of the ACA that the law has cracked 50% approval since the firm began asking about the law in November 2012.

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