BB&T: Financial Winner
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and S&P 500 (SPX.X) each rose slightly and the NASDAQ Composite (^IXIC) rose 1%, after President Obama and congressional leaders expressed confidence that they would arrive at a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," which could lead to an expiration of tax cuts that were extended by the president in August 2010, as part of an agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling.
The 2010 deal effectively punted the issue of tax increases and spending cuts to the end of 2012, after which the tax cuts -- originally enacted when George W. Bush was president -- could expire, hand-in-hand with a massive cut in federal spending, which many economists fear could push U.S. economy back into recession.
According to a New York Times report, there was a "rare show of bipartisan bonhomie," among leaders of both parties following a meeting with the president, as "the four leaders - two Republicans, John A. Boehner, the House speaker, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader; and two Democrats, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader - politely took turns at a microphone outside the West Wing, addressing each other by first names and describing the 70-minute session as constructive."
the KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) rose 1% to close at 47.15, with all but three of the index components ending the week with gains.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Credit Suisse (CS) would pay over $400 million to settle allegations of misleading investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities. The SEC said it planned "to distribute the money to harmed investors."
JPMorgan agreed to pay $296.9 million to settle charges of misstating "information about the delinquency status of mortgage loans that provided collateral for an RMBS offering in which it was the underwriter," and also for "Bear Stearns' failure to disclose its practice of obtaining and keeping cash settlements from mortgage loan originators on problem loans that Bear Stearns had sold into RMBS trusts." JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in March 2008, in a deal facilitated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Later on Friday, a JPMorgan Chase said in a statement that the company was "unaware of any active SEC investigations into JPMorgan's RMBS activities beyond those we are resolving today."
The SEC said that Credit Suisse had "similarly failed to accurately disclose its practice of retaining cash for itself from the settlement of claims against mortgage loan originators for problems with loans that Credit Suisse had sold into RMBS trusts and no longer owned. Credit Suisse also made misstatements in SEC filings about when it would repurchase mortgage loans from trusts if borrowers missed the first payment due."