) -- Earnings reports were in full force this week as major institutions including


(C) - Get Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report


Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

all reported better-than-expected earnings, while regional bank earnings showed mixed results.


Financial Select Sector SPDR

inched lower this week to $14.60.

Shares of Bank of America sold off roughly 5% this week as investors continued to worry about mortgage putbacks and potential foreclosure problems.

Earlier in the week, an institutional investor group and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York sent a letter to the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank requesting it to repurchase $47 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities. BofA received two sell-side downgrades this week because of the surrounding negative buzz, despite solid third-quarter results.

Separately, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly looking into the foreclosure mess.

Late Tuesday, the

Associated Press

reported that the FBI is in the initial stages of looking into the cause of the delays and suspensions of foreclosures which have recently occurred at BofA, Chase and

Ally Financial's

GMAC Mortgage.


Wall Street Journal

reported this week that

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

is considering returning the $5 billion investment by Warren Buffet's firm,

Berkshire Hathaway

into the investment bank during the height of the financial crisis.

Warren Buffett

The U.S. government is also resuming its sale of Citi's common stock. Following Citi's third-quarter earnings, the U.S. Treasury Department announced this week that it planned to sell an additional 1.5 billion shares through its agent,

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report


Taxpayers received 7.7 billion shares last year when Treasury exchanged $25 billion worth of preferred stock into common equity to support the company's capital ratios. By Sept. 30, the Treasury Department had sold 4.1 billion shares in three separate blocks, receiving $16.4 billion in the process. Once the next stock sale is complete, the government will hold a 7% stake in the company, down from an initial high of 27%.

Financial firms that are expected to report earnings next week include

CIT Group

(CIT) - Get Report


TD Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report



(V) - Get Report

, as well as several smaller regional banks.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact the writer of this article, click here:

Laurie Kulikowski


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