Market Minute: Fed to Announce Which Banks Can Raise Dividends, Buy Back Stock

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The Dow eked out another gain yesterday, adding five points. That's its seventh straight record high, and ninth straight gain -- the longest winning streak since November of 1996. The S&P 500 edged up two points, as did the Nasdaq.

The KeyBank branch is seen in Orange Village, Ohio on Thursday, July 22, 2010. KeyCorp reported its first quarterly profit in two years Thursday, Thursday, Luy 22,2010, with fewer soured loans, more income from fees and better cost controls. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
The KeyBank branch is seen in Orange Village, Ohio. KeyCorp is likely to be one of the regional banks that become a big beneficiary from the Federal Reserves announcement this afternoon on which banks will be eligible to raise their dividends and buy back stock. (Amy Sancetta, AP)
The Federal Reserve will announce this afternoon which banks will be eligible to raise their dividends and buy back stock. Some analysts say regional banks are likely to be the big beneficiaries. Evercore Partners says Keycorp, State Street and Northern Trust are the ones most likely to raise their payouts.

Samsung is expected to unveil its new Galaxy S-4 smartphone later today, and analysts say it could leapfrog past Apple's (AAPL) iPhone in some ways. The two companies continue to battle for supremacy in the smartphone market –- one of the factors that has been driving down Apple's stock. Apple has tumbled 39% from its all-time high back in September, and is now trading near its lowest level in more than a year.

Meanwhile, Blackberry (BBRY) shares soared late yesterday after the company said it received an order for one million of its new Z-10 smartphones. It did not identify the buyer.

Men's Warehouse (MW) posted weaker than expected quarterly results, but its stock is set to jump anyway. The men's retailer has hired an adviser to explore alternatives for its K-and-G stores.

On the women's side, Vera Bradley (VRA) turned in better than expected numbers, but its stock is set to drop on disappointing guidance for the current quarter.

Five homebuilders – D.R. Horton (DHI), Pulte (PHA), Beazer (BZH), Ryland (RYL) and Meritage (MTH) – were assigned 'buy' ratings by the brokerage firm Sterne Agee. But it began coverage of Toll Brothers with an 'underperform' rating.

And the supermarket chain Whole Foods (WFM) is planning to open a health resort near its Austin, Texas headquarters. USA Today reports the upscale resort will promote a healthier lifestyle.


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