Time to take off those snowman embroidered Christmas pants -- because Wall Street's back to business with an intense week of earnings reports and monthly employment news. Unfortunately, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.15%) fell 45 points Monday for its third straight loss of the New Year, on negative service sector news. 

1. JPMorgan Chase pays another billion-dollar fine for Madoff involvement
Tupac is a finance genius, 'cause some things just never change. Six days into 2014 and JPMorgan Chase (JPM 0.06%) is amid another huge investigation for dirty banking practices -- this time the involvement in Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. Jamie Dimon is opening the bank's wallet again, for $2 billion this time, to cleanse its public image and keep federal Investigators at bay. 

Bernie Madoff became the face of Wall Street greed after his fraudulent "investment fund" was revealed to be smoke and mirrors, and nothing more. Scores of investors lost their fortunes they entrusted him to invest (Madoff got sentenced to life in prison plus about a million years). It turns out the sophisticated Ponzi scheme ran through the pipes of JPMorgan Chase Bank, Madoff's bank of choice, for many years. Investigators suspect the bank turned a blind eye. 

After $18 billion in fines and settlements in 2013, JPMorgan is about to pay $2 billion more to end investigations of complicity in Madoff's crime. The $20 billion in fines in the past year would be equal to every single dollar spent in Afghanistan in an entire year (the war-torn country's GDP is about $20 billion). JPM stock, though, continues to be unfazed by the bazooka "I'm sorry" payments, as profits continue to churn through the megabank -- and believe it or not, these legal risks are well known in the JPM club.  
2. Sirius XM pops on acquisition broadcast
It sounds like good news ... for shareholders of Sirius XM Radio (SIRI 2.76%). That's because Liberty Media (FWONA) is a major media conglomerate that currently owns 53% of America's largest satellite-radio provider but announced over the weekend it wants 100% of Sirius. Sirius stock popped 7.3% Monday on the news. Seriously. Sirius Stock hit No. 1 on Ryan Seacrest's Top 20 list, since there's major demand for the remaining 47% of non-Liberty-owned shares.
The takeaway is that this is all part of Liberty's plan to take over the world (kind of). Liberty also owns Charter Communications and is currently trying to raise $25 billion to take over Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) so it can own even more of the U.S. cable industry.

3. Factory orders hit historic high
Yank out your Ninja Turtles lunchbox, because the last time factory orders were this high was back in '92, when the data was first tracked. Domestic and growing international demand for U.S.-manufactured products rose 1.8% in November, for its second strong gain in three months
The takeaway is that the factory-orders report is divided between "new orders" and "shipments" of American-made goods of all sizes, from microwaves to big ol' rapper refrigerators, and both beat expectations. Wall Street wasn't super surprised, though, because econ data, from housing and labor markets, steadily improved over 2013 -- and 2014 is feeling good already.

  • Janet Yellen celebrates her Senate approval to be the first chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States.
  • U.S. International Trade Report
As originally published on MarketSnacks.com