J.P. Morgan shares close higher on Wednesday, bank fires employees over misuse of EIDL funds for coronavirus relief

According to a report by the Financial Times, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, several J.P. Morgan Chase employees were fired on allegations they had violated the bank’s code of conduct by misusing funds that were meant to aid businesses to overcome the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those persons fraudulently got access to loans under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and, in doing so, they had not been acting as employees of the Wall Street bank.

J.P. Morgan Chase shares closed higher for the fifth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Wednesday. The stock went up 0.95% ($0.95) to $100.87, after touching an intraday low at $99.59 and an intraday high at $101.69.

Shares of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co have retreated 27.64% so far in 2020 compared with a 5.21% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, J.P. Morgan’s stock went up 42.80%, thus, it outperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

According to the Financial Times, the US bank concluded that some of its own personnel had deposited suspicious EIDL funds into their checking accounts at Chase. Yet, according to the source, these cases represented a “very small” percentage of the total suspicious activity the bank had found.

An earlier report by Reuters, citing an internal J.P. Morgan memo, stated that the lender had uncovered cases of clients “misusing Paycheck Protection Program loans, unemployment benefits and other government programs.”

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 24 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding J.P. Morgan Chase & Co’s stock price, have a median target of $116.15, with a high estimate of $144.00 and a low estimate of $80.00. The median estimate represents a 15.15% upside compared to the closing price of $100.87 on September 9th.

The same media also reported that at least 17 out of 27 surveyed investment analysts had rated J.P. Morgan Chase & Co’s stock as “Buy”, while 8 – as “Hold”. On the other hand, 1 analyst had recommended selling the stock.

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