Financial stocks were moderately higher late today with the NYSE Financial Sector Index rising about 0.2% and the S&P Financial 100 Index up 0.4%.
In company news, Bank of America ( BAC ) was higher late in Wednesday trading with the bank reportedly close to a deal with state and federal authorities over the sale of mortgage-backed securities prior to the 2008 market meltdown, agreeing to a $17 billion settlement.
Officials familiar with the deal told the Associated Press BAC will pay $10 billion in cash as well as providing another $7 billion in consumer relief. The sources talked with the news service on condition of anonymity because the deal isn't scheduled to be announced before tomorrow at the earliest.
The agreement also requires the bank to acknowledge making misrepresentations about the quality of its residential mortgage-backed securities.
BAC shares were up about 0.4% at $15.52 apiece in late trade, just 2 cents under its session high. The stock has traded within a 52-week range of $13.60 to $18.03 a share, climbing nearly 9% over the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(+) VTR, Completes all-cash acquisition of 29 senior living communities in Canada. The deal was funded with a Canadian-dollar denominated term loan, which will be replaced with long-term debt financing as soon as practicable.
(-) BRK-A, Agrees to $896,000 civil penalty to the U.S. government after failing to file the proper reports before swapping shares of USG convertible notes into common stock last December. It made a corrective filing in early January, according to the complaint.
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