Obama Bank Tax: Thursday's Headlines

Thursday's early headlines include President Obama's plan to to levy a tax on about 50 of the nation's largest financial institutions to force them to reportedly pay about $90 billion to the U.S. government over 10 years.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Here are the top stock market headlines for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010.

Thursday's Early Headlines

  • Obama Seeks $90B From Tax on Banks -- President Obama will look to levy a tax on about 50 of the nation's largest financial institutions to force them to reportedly pay about $90 billion to the U.S. government over 10 years. According to The Associated Press, Obama plans to propose a levy of 15 basis points, or 0.15%, on the liabilities of the banks to make sure every dollar spent from the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to rescue the financial firms and automakers is either repaid or paid for. A senior administration official told the AP the tax would apply only to financial companies with assets greater than $50 billion. Some of the firms will be forced to pay the fee even if they didn't receive TARP funds or already paid back the funds they borrowed from the government. The Wall Street Journal reports about half the 50 would be U.S. banks, including Goldman Sachs (GS) - Get Report, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) - Get Report, Bank of America (BAC) - Get Report and Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report.
  • Jobless Claims, Retail Sales Data Disappoints -- The Labor Department's weekly report on initial jobless claims showed that first-time claims rose to 444,000 last week from a revised 433,000 the week prior, more than the 436,000 target economists had projected. Meanwhile, the government said retail sales unexpectedly fell 0.3% in December, compared to expectations of a 0.5% increase. Excluding autos, retail sales were down 0.2% last month.
  • H-P, Microsoft In Cloud Computing Pact -- Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - Get Report and Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report announced a three-year partnership to invest $250 million to integrate their software and hardware products and offer a one-stop technology solution for clients. The partnership aims to simplify the customer experience for developing, deploying and managing IT environments for businesses of all sizes, the companies said in a joint press release. The new services, based on advance cloud computing, will speed up application implementation, eliminate IT complexities and lower costs by automating existing manual processes.
  • December Foreclosures Up 14% -- RealtyTrac, an Internet marketplace for foreclosure properties, said that foreclosures rose 14% in December from the previous month to 349,519 U.S. properties, and that number could have been higher without a holiday moratorium on foreclosures by many financial firms, including Citigroup (C) - Get Report and Fannie Mae (FNM) . From a year ago, foreclosures were up 15%, RealtyTrac said.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston

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