Friday, May 25, 2018

From the Wire - Business

Business Roundup 2/3/18

Wisconsin banks merged this week

MADISON — Associated Bank, the largest bank based in Wisconsin, grew even larger on Thursday.

The Green Bay bank’s holding company, Associated Banc-Corp, finalized the purchase of Bank Mutual Corp., the holding company of Bank Mutual, of Brown Deer.

The all-stock transaction, valued at $482 million, raises Associated’s assets to about $32 billion.

The company plans to close 28 Bank Mutual locations and eight Associated Bank branches in late June or early July.

Until then, Bank Mutual will remain a separate bank subsidiary of Associated Banc-Corp, Associated president and CEO Philip Flynn said.

“For Bank Mutual customers — it won’t impact them right away. Before we convert anything, we will have a lot of communication with them,” Flynn said, in an interview.

Dow has worst week in 2 years

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks slumped Friday, pulling down the Dow Jones industrial average by more than 650 points and handing the market its worst week in two years.

Technology, banks and energy stocks accounted for much of the broad slide. Several major companies, including Exxon Mobil and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, sank after reporting weak earnings.

Fears of rising inflation sent bond yields higher and contributed to the stock market swoon after the government reported that wages grew last month at the fastest pace in eight years.

The sharp drop follows a long period of unprecedented calm in the market. Stocks haven’t had a pullback of 10 percent or more in two years, and hit their latest record highs just one week ago.

“We’ve enjoyed low interest rates for so long, we’re having to deal with a little bit higher rates now, so the market is trying to figure out what that could mean for inflation,” said Darrell Cronk, head of the Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

The increase in bond yields hurts stocks in two ways: it makes it more expensive for companies to borrow money, and it also makes bonds more appealing to investors than riskier assets such as stocks.

From news services


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