Editor's Choice for the Week of January 25, 2010: Market Moving News for This Week

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Scope of the Fiduciary Duty Owed by Investment Advisors A fiduciary obligation goes beyond the suitability standard typically owed by registered representatives of broker-dealer firms to clients. The relationship is built on the premise that the advisor will always do the right thing for the person or entity receiving advice.
  • Nothing but the Best Execution Along with the many other fiduciary obligations owed by RIAs, firms owe a duty to seek best execution of clients’ transactions.  If they fail to do, RIAs violate Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act.
Last week we learned of the generally healthy earnings of the big Wall Street banks and other public companies of interest to advisors--Citigroup; TD Ameritrade; Bank of New York/Mellon; Morgan Stanley; Bank of America; State Street; Wells Fargo; Raymond James; Goldman Sachs, and Charles Schwab Corp.. This week the focus will likely return to the new Wall Street--Washington--where Congressional actions, economic reports, Fed action, and White House speechifying will occur.

Chronologically, on January 25th existing home sales are announced. On January 26th comes release of the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and two confidence reports--the Conference Board's consumer confidence index, and the State Street Investor Confidence Index. Also on Tuesday, the state of Oregon begins counting votes on a controversial tax proposal that other states may consider--both "wealthy" individuals (joint filers with $250,000 in annual income) and businesses would face new levies to help the state balance its budget.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meets on January 26 and 27th, with a statement to be released by the FOMC on the 27th. That evening, President Obama delivers his State of the Union address; last week he gave another address on financial services reform, attended by Paul Volcker and Bill Donaldson. Tim Geithner was in the room, but not center stage.

On Thursday, January 28, durable goods orders are released, while on the 29th, Friday, we get the first report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis on how the economy performed in the fourth quarter of 2009 with the GDP estimate.

Finally, both houses of Congress swiftly approved identical bills last week on tax deductions for donations made by taxpayers for Haiti relief; the President is expected to sign the bill this week.

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