Stocks ended higher on good economic data. Learn about other top financial news stories of the day.
Hedge-Fund Founder Falcone Sued by the SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Philip Falcone, founder of Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, on charges of misappropriating client assets, favoring selected investors and manipulating bond prices, Bloomberg News reports.
According to Bloomberg, the SEC is seeking financial penalties and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains. The regulatory agency also wants to bar Falcone from serving as an officer or director of any public company. If successful, the suit, filed on Wednesday, could block Falcone’s plan to run a holding company.
Positive Economic Data Boosts Stocks
U.S. stock markets closed higher yesterday following positive reports on pending home sales and durable goods orders, CNN Money reports.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 92 points, or 0.7 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 12 points, or 0.9 percent, according to CNN Money. The Nasdaq gained 21 points or 0.7 percent.
European leaders are meeting today to address long-term economic challenges facing the Eurozone. Analysts warn the news from Europe could quickly refocus the markets, according to CNN Money.
Barclays to Pay $450 Million
The British bank Barclays has agreed to pay more than $450 million to resolve accusations that it tried to manipulate key interest rates, The New York Times reports. The settlement is the first stemming from a global investigation.
The settlement involves both U.K. regulators, as well as the U.S. Commodities Future Trading Commission and the Justice Department, according to The Times, and is the result of an investigation into the way Barclays and other large banks set rates for borrowing and lending affecting both corporations and consumers.
Other institutions under investigation include HSBC, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, The Times reports.
Runs in the Family: Madoff Brother to Plead Guilty
Peter Madoff, younger brother of convicted swindler Bernie Madoff, is expected to plead guilty Friday to criminal charges. The younger Madoff is expected to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and other crimes, as well as falsifying records, Reuters reports. He has agreed to not to seek a sentence other than 10 years in prison. Bernie Madoff was the architect of the biggest Ponzi scheme to date, which costs his clients $65 billion. He was sentenced in 2009 to the maximum 150 years in prison. About a dozen people have now been implicated in criminal wrongdoing related to Bernard Madoff's former firm. The younger Madoff, the former chief compliance officer at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, has agreed to a criminal forfeiture of about $143.1 billion, including all real and personal property, the letter said. The amount is symbolic, being more than twice the estimated size of the fraud, Reuters reports.
Merkel Resists Calls for Emergency Action
At an EU summit that could shape the future of the eurozone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is resisting calls from Italy and Spain to lower their soaring borrowing costs, Reuters reports. The European Union leaders go into the two-day meeting in Brussels “more openly divided” than at any time since the debt crisis erupted in Greece two years ago and spread over the eurozone. Merkel also rejected France-backed proposals that eurozone countries should assume joint liability for each other’s debts. Merkel is emphasizing the need for “improved controls and structural measures,” Reuters reports. This is the EU’s 20th summit since the beginning of the crisis.
Kindle Fire Has Another Challenger
Google announced it will sell a competitively-priced small tablet to challenge Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the Associated Pressreports. The Nexus 7 is designed for online store Google Play, which sells movies, music, books, apps, and other content. Like the Kindle Fire, the Nexus 7 will have a screen that measures 7 inches diagonally. It will weigh less than the Kindle Fire, as well as the iPad. It is scheduled to ship in mid-July with a price starting at $199, comparable to the Kindle Fire. Google’s announcement comes a week after Microsoft Corp. unveiled “Surface,” its own small tablet. Google also announced a home entertainment device called Nexus Q. It sends content from your personal collection or YouTube to your existing TV and speaker systems. It is controlled through a separate Android phone or tablet. The Nexus Q, which Google is calling the world’s first ‘‘social streaming device,’’ will available in July in the U.S. initially and sell for $299.