Top Financial Stocks
Financial stocks were mostly lower today with the NYSE Financial Sector Index sinking about 0.4% and the S&P Financial 100 Index falling about 0.5%.
In company news, Bank of America ( BAC ) was slumping Monday after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced over $32 million in fines and restitution for the bank's Merrill Lynch unit, including an $8 million fine for failing to waive mutual fund sales charges for charities and retirement accounts.
FINRA also ordered Merrill to return another $24.4 million to customers affected by the mutual fund charges, in addition to the $64.8 million the firm already repaid to investors.
According to FINRA, Merril on several occasions since 2006 failed to waive sale charges on Class A mutual fund shares it offering, which typically have lower fees than Class B and Class C shares but also have upfront sales charges, although most mutual funds waive those charges when Class A shares are used in retirement accounts or when they are purchased by charities.
Approximately 41,000 small-business retirement plans and another 6,800 charities are affected by the new FINRA action.
BAC shares recently were down about 1.2% at $15.25 each, just 7 cents off its session low. The stock has a 52-week range of $12.13 to $18.03 a share, rising 16.5% over the past 12 months.
In other sector news,
(+) NCT, (+3.8%) Announces plans for a spinoff through a share distribution of its New Senior Investment Group into a new publicly traded real estate investment trust targeting senior housing-related investments.
(-) AXP, (-0.4%) Pacific Crest initiates coverage with a Sector Perform rating.
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