Market Minute: Banks Pass Fed Stress Tests -- All But Ally

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Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

The Dow rose another 33 points yesterday to its third straight record high. The S&P 500 added 2 points, and the Nasdaq gained 9.

The bull market is about to enter its fifth year. The Dow bottomed out on March 9, 2009, closing that day at 6,547.05. Since then, it's gained 119 percent.

Seventeen of the nation's 18 leading banks have passed the Federal Reserve's so-called stress test. That means they have sufficient capital to handle a major shock to the financial system, at least more so than at any time since 2008. The only one to fail the test: Ally Financial. The others could be positioned to increase their dividend payments or share buybacks.
Banks pass stress test
Speaking of dividends, S&P reports 2013 will likely be a record year for company payouts. Apple (AAPL), Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and AT&T (T) will distribute the most, about $10 billion dollars each.

Shares of Pandora Media (P) are set to rock and roll. The internet radio company's quarterly loss widened, but its results beat expectations, and it issued a better-than-expected outlook for the current quarter. Pandora also said its CEO is resigning.

Headphone maker Skullcandy (SKUL) will run into some static today. It forecast an unexpected loss for the current quarter.

If you're like me, you probably have not finished your taxes yet. And that's a problem for H-and-R Block (HRB). The tax preparer posted a quarterly loss, hurt by the delayed start to the tax season as the fiscal cliff shenanigans forced the IRS to move back the start of tax filings until January 30th.

And investor Carl Icahn has raised his stake in Herbalife (HLF) to more than 15 percent, as he tries to flush out short-sellers who claim the company is run like a pyramid scheme.
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Markets

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DJIA 19,170.42 -21.51 -0.11%
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