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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
July 16, 2014
06:36 EDTMHFIS&P willing to reopen discussions with DOJ, WSJ reports
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, part of McGraw Hill Financial, is willing to restart talks with the Department of Justice and is open to paying up to $1B to settle it, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The company is not currently in active talks with the DOJ, the sources say. The DOJ filed a $5B lawsuit against S&P in February 2013 accusing the agency of inflating ratings for mortgage bonds. Reference Link
News For MHFI From The Last 14 Days
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January 21, 2015
11:02 EDTMHFIS&P near to $1.4B settlement on subprime ratings probe, Bloomberg says
S&P may settle subprime mortgage suits as early as next week, added Bloomberg. The S&P settlement is separate from the SEC probe into CMBS, according to Bloomberg.
10:58 EDTMHFIS&P near to $1.4B settlement on subprime ratings probe, Bloomberg says
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09:12 EDTMHFIS&P Ratings Services reaches settlements with SEC, Attorney Generals of NY, Mass
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09:08 EDTMHFINew York AG joins SEC in settlement with Standard and Poor's
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09:07 EDTMHFIS&P to pay $58M to settle SEC charges
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09:06 EDTMHFISEC announces charges against S&P for fraudulent ratings misconduct
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a series of federal securities law violations by Standard & Poorís Ratings Services involving fraudulent misconduct in its ratings of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities. S&P agreed to pay more than $58M to settle the SECís charges, plus an additional $19M to settle parallel cases announced by the New York Attorney Generalís office -- $12M -- and the Massachusetts Attorney Generalís office -- $7M. The SEC issued three orders instituting settled administrative proceedings against S&P. One order, in which S&P made certain admissions, addressed S&Pís practices in its conduit fusion CMBS ratings methodology. S&Pís public disclosures affirmatively misrepresented that it was using one approach when it actually used a different methodology in 2011 to rate six conduit fusion CMBS transactions and issue preliminary ratings on two more transactions. As part of this settlement, S&P agreed to take a one-year timeout from rating conduit fusion CMBS. In a separate order instituting a litigated administrative proceeding, the SEC Enforcement Division alleges that the former head of S&Pís CMBS Group fraudulently misrepresented the manner in which the firm calculated a critical aspect of certain CMBS ratings in 2011. Barbara Duka allegedly instituted the shift to more issuer-friendly ratings criteria, and the firm failed to properly disclose the less rigorous methodology. The matter against Duka will be scheduled for a public hearing before an administrative law judge for proceedings to adjudicate the Enforcement Divisionís allegations and determine what, if any, remedial actions are appropriate.
09:05 EDTMHFISEC announves charges against S&P for fraudulent ratings misconduct
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January 20, 2015
15:29 EDTMHFIS&P may pay $1.5B to U.S to settle ratings issue, Reuters says
S&P in talks with U.S. Justice department and individual states over mortgage ratings, Reuters added.
14:43 EDTMHFIS&P said to be banned by SEC on rating some CMBSs for year, Bloomberg reports
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14:16 EDTMHFIS&P said to be banned by SEC on rating some CMBSs for year, Bloomberg reports
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January 13, 2015
16:24 EDTMHFIOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
The Wall Street averages spent time in both positive and negative territory during the session, before closing a bit below where they'd started the day. The market opened sharply higher after Alcoaís (AA) better than expected report gave some optimism about the upcoming earnings season. The early move higher came despite oil continuing its slide. The major averages saw their highs shortly after the open and then began to drift slowly lower. By mid-afternoon the market was in the red, though the equity averages eventually made it briefly back into positive ground, but failed to hold those narrow gains into the close. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the NFIB small business optimism index for December came in at 100.4, which was stronger than the expected 98.5 reading. The JOLTS report showed job openings increased 142K to 4.972M in November, beating the 4.85M consensus forecast. Treasury posted a $1.9B surplus in December, which was a bit below the expected surplus of $3B. Also of note is the fact that the U.S. and European benchmarks of WTI and Brent crude were at parity for the first time since 2013 during the session, with both trading near $46 per barrel for a time. COMPANY NEWS: KB Home (KBH) reported better than expected revenue and higher orders in its fourth quarter, but the stock declined $2.70, or 16.29%, to $13.87 after CEO Jeffrey Mezger warned on the associated earnings call that margins could drop "significantly" in its current quarter from the levels seen last year. KB's margin outlook, which it blamed on rising costs, heavier use of incentives and a sequential decline in average selling prices, dragged down peers in the housing space as well. D.R. Horton (DHI), the biggest homebuilder by market cap, finished the day down $1.26, or 4.83%, to $24.82, while PulteGroup (PHM) also slid $56c, or 2.47%, to $22.13... MetLife (MET) said it will sue to oppose the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Councilís designation of the insurer as a SIFI, or "systemically important financial institution." The life insurer called the label premature and said it has offered ďsubstantial and compelling evidenceĒ that it isnít a SIFI. Wells Fargo said it thinks it is appropriate for MetLife to challenge the ruling, though the firm does not presently see a Dodd-Frank provision that enables an entity to shed its designation. Wells added that a MetLife victory would have no impact on either AIG (AIG) or Prudential (PRU), which did not challenge their SIFI designations before their windows closed. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Emulex (ELX), which rose $1.21, or 20.86%, to $7.01 after the company issued better than expected guidance on its second quarter results. Also higher was McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI), which jumped $5.13, or 5.98%, to $90.89 after reports said the company's Standard & Poorís rating unit was in talks about a potential $1B settlement to its fight with the Justice Department and state attorneys general over allegations of inflating credit ratings on mortgage investments preceding the financial crisis. Among the noteworthy losers was ChannelAdvisor (ECOM), which plunged $11.32, or 53.52%, to $9.83 after its fourth quarter revenue warning prompted no less than eight downgrades of the stock by Street analysts. Also lower were shares of Ocwen Financial (OCN), which dropped $4.41, or 36.18%, to $7.78 after the Los Angeles Times reported that California is seeking to suspend the company's mortgage license in the state. Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS), which is a related company to Ocwen, also declined $10.45, or 38.79%, to $16.49. Shares of GoPro (GPRO) fell $6.91, or 12.17%, to $49.87 after the Patently Apple blog reported that Apple (AAPL) was granted a patent for a camera system that specifically mentions the weaknesses of GoPro devices. INDEXES: The Dow fell 27.16, or 0.15%, to 17,613.68, the Nasdaq lost 3.21, or 0.07%, to 4,661.50, and the S&P 500 dropped 5.23, or 0.26%, to 2,023.03.
06:41 EDTMHFIAuthorities seeking more than $1B to settle S&P charges, NY Times says
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