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BUSINESS
January 4, 2006 | Molly Selvin, Times Staff Writer
The flat stock market of 2005 helped bring at least one benefit to corporate America: a decline in securities class-action suits, according to a study released Tuesday. The number of such suits dropped 17% to 176 last year, the lowest total since 1997, according to an annual report by Boston-based Cornerstone Research and Stanford Law School. The highest number in recent years, 239 suits, came in 1998.
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BUSINESS
December 28, 2005 | From Reuters
The brokerage industry's chief regulatory group said Tuesday it collected a record $125.4 million in disciplinary fines this year, 21% more than in 2004, for violations including abuses in sales of mutual funds and variable annuities. The Washington-based NASD also said it filed 1,412 enforcement actions in 2005, up 1% from the previous year, and barred or suspended 737 people from the securities industry, down 12%. It closed 9,150 arbitration cases and 1,700 mediation cases.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2005 | Tom Petruno, Times Staff Writer
The Securities and Exchange Commission has narrowed its probe of Los Angeles-based American Funds to the question of whether the firm overpaid brokerages for trades as a reward for mutual fund sales, according to people familiar with the inquiry. The fund giant already is fighting two other regulatory agencies over charges of improper practices.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Peter N. Brant, who pleaded guilty in 1984 to insider trading using advance knowledge of Wall Street Journal stories, has agreed to pay $3.2 million to settle allegations that he violated a securities industry ban and defrauded clients. The Securities and Exchange Commission, in an order last week, said Brant acted illegally as an investment advisor, made speculative trades for clients against their wishes and turned over holdings in their accounts to generate more commissions.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2005 | From Associated Press
Former star technology banker Frank Quattrone has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to reverse the decision by a securities industry watchdog to ban him from the profession for refusing to answer its questions in 2003. Lawyers for Quattrone, who has appealed his May conviction for obstruction of justice, sent the SEC written arguments dated Monday saying that the ban by the NASD (formerly the National Assn. of Securities Dealers) was unconstitutional.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2005 | From Bloomberg News and Times Staff
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled against California in the state's long-running battle to impose certain disclosure rules on brokerage industry arbitration panels. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said arbitration-panel policies of the NASD, formerly the National Assn. of Securities Dealers, superceded rules California imposed in 2002.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2005 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
Top Biogen Idec Inc. insiders sold $15 million in company shares at near-record prices in the days and even hours before Biogen warned regulators about patients' becoming ill in clinical trials of its multiple sclerosis drug, records show. The drug, Tysabri, was pulled from the market Monday after a patient's death, causing shares in the Cambridge, Mass., company to plummet 43%. Biogen told the Food and Drug Administration on Feb.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2005 | From Reuters
A key measure of commodity prices hit a 24-year high Friday as the bull market in hard assets continued to attract more investors and traders. The Reuters-CRB index of key commodity futures closed at 300.23, up 0.7% from Thursday and the first time it has topped 300 since April 1981 -- the end of the last raw materials boom a generation ago.
BUSINESS
February 16, 2005 | From Bloomberg News
Citigroup Inc. mistakenly bought and sold hundreds of thousands of option contracts on the Nasdaq-100 tracking stock on the Pacific Exchange on Tuesday, leading to price swings in the stock market. New York-based Citigroup, a specialist in options trading at the Pacific Exchange, received an "incorrect price quote from a third-party data vendor, which we resolved within seconds," spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos said.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2005 | Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writer
Securities brokers are getting a sweet deal on Valentine's Day that may or may not endear them to their clients. Beginning Monday they'll be able to use investment analysis tools aimed at helping clients predict how their portfolios may fare over time. These tools have been used by institutional investors for years, but weren't available to retail brokers because regulators had barred them from predicting investment returns.
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