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Bank of America: Countrywide 'Hustle' Winner

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee said in its October press release on Wednesday that "household spending has advanced a bit more quickly, but growth in business fixed investment has slowed, and that "the housing sector has shown some further signs of improvement, albeit from a depressed level." The Committee announced no new action, but reiterated that it "anticipates that exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate are likely to be warranted at least through mid-2015."

The big news for the broad market was a 19% rise in shares of FaceBook (FB), which closed at $23.21, after the company reported non-GAAP third-quarter earnings of $311 million, or 12 cents a share, excluding share-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses, increasing from $295 million, or 12 cents a share, in the second quarter, and $273 million, or 12 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2012.

Investors were relieved to see FaceBook's third-quarter revenue come in at $1.26 billion, increasing from $1.18 billion the previous quarter and $954 million a year earlier.

Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney upgraded FaceBook to a "Buy" rating from a neutral rating, although he lowered his price target for the shares by $5 to $30, saying that the third-quarter revenue beat his estimate of $1.17 billion.

Mahaney said that "ad Revenue growth accelerated despite Mobile rising from 0% to 14% of Revenue - the odd advantage FB enjoys is that because its Desktop Monetization starts from a relatively low base, it's easier for Mobile Monetization to be accretive," and that the company's revenue growth accelerated to an annual pace of 38% from 36% in the second quarter.

Moving back to the financials, the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was down slightly to close at 49.41, with 15 of the 24 index components showing declines for the session.

New York Community Faces Margin Pressure


New York Community Bancorp was the loser among KBW Bank Index components on Wednesday, with shares sliding 5% to close at $13.92, after the company reported third-quarter earnings of $128.8 million, or 29 cents a share, declining from $131.2 million, or 30 cents a share, in the second quarter, but increasing from $119.8 million, or 27 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2011.

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