Leading Market News – JPMorgan, Costco and Safeway, Google

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Latest market news for JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) and Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) gave Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon a 51 percent raise in 2010 as the bank resumed paying cash bonuses following two years of pressure from regulators and lawmakers to curb compensation. Dimon’s $23 million compensation package makes him the highest-paid chief executive among the top six U.S. banks since 2007, according to the banks’ proxy statements. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfein, 56, received the next-highest payout for 2010 at $19 million, followed by Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) head John Stumpf, 57, at $17.5 million. Morgan Stanley, which hasn’t filed its statement yet, is not going to pay CEO James Gorman more than the $15.1 million he received for 2009, a person familiar with his pay package said in January. Dimon’s pay included a $5 million cash bonus, his first since 2007, the New York-based company said yesterday in a regulatory filing. His base salary remained at $1 million and his restricted stock payout increased 20 percent to $17 million. That helped boost total compensation by more than half from $15.2 million in 2009, according to the bank’s calculations. – Bloomberg…  JPM shares are trading at $47.18, down -0.46% on volume of 5.39M shares traded today.

BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. (NYSE:BJ) was raised to buy from neutral by Goldman Sachs on Friday while its larger rival Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)  and supermarket chain Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) were both downgraded to neutral. Goldman analysts said with expectations that food costs will rise in the high single digit in the second half, passing costs along to the consumers will be more challenging. It said it cut Safeway’s rating as it steps away from traditional grocers and focuses more on the warehouse clubs. It said it prefers BJ’s over Costco because of a more compelling valuation. – MarketWatch…  BJ’s shares are trading at $50.23, up 1.72% or $0.85 and volume is currently at 0.59M shares traded.  COST shares are trading at $76.98, down -1.08% or $-0.84 and volume is currently at 0.95M shares traded.  SWY shares are trading down  $-0.33 at $23.79 (-1.35%) and volume is currently at 2.11M shares traded.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), the world’s largest search engine, agreed to Justice Department monitoring of travel search and services to win approval of its $700 million purchase of ITA Software Inc., two people familiar with the matter said. Under the accord, the company would also be subject to compulsory licensing and have to create firewalls on client data, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the agreement hasn’t been announced. The deal to buy ITA, an online travel information company, would clear the way for the Justice Department to consider a larger investigation of Google. The Federal Trade Commission, which also oversees U.S. antitrust laws, is considering a possible probe of Google’s search business, two people familiar with that matter said April 5. – Bloomberg…  GOOG shares are trading flat at $580.27, up 0.05%.
 

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