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NEW YORK (
BB&T (BBT - Get Report) was the winner among the largest U.S. financial names on Friday, with shares rising 2% to close at $28.04.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and
S&P 500 (SPX.X) each rose slightly and the
NASDAQ Composite (^IXIC) rose 1%, after President Obama and congressional leaders expressed confidence that they would arrive at a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff," which could lead to an expiration of tax cuts that were extended by the president in August 2010, as part of an agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling.
The 2010 deal effectively punted the issue of tax increases and spending cuts to the end of 2012, after which the tax cuts -- originally enacted when George W. Bush was president -- could expire, hand-in-hand with a massive cut in federal spending, which many economists fear could push U.S. economy back into recession.
According to a
New York Times report, there was a "rare show of bipartisan bonhomie," among leaders of both parties following a meeting with the president, as "the four leaders - two Republicans, John A. Boehner, the House speaker, and Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader; and two Democrats, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader - politely took turns at a microphone outside the West Wing, addressing each other by first names and describing the 70-minute session as constructive."
KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) rose 1% to close at 47.15, with all but three of the index components ending the week with gains.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that
JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report) and
Credit Suisse (CS - Get Report) would pay over $400 million to settle allegations of
misleading investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities. The SEC said it planned "to distribute the money to harmed investors."
JPMorgan agreed to pay $296.9 million to settle charges of misstating "information about the delinquency status of mortgage loans that provided collateral for an RMBS offering in which it was the underwriter," and also for "Bear Stearns' failure to disclose its practice of obtaining and keeping cash settlements from mortgage loan originators on problem loans that Bear Stearns had sold into RMBS trusts." JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns in March 2008, in a deal facilitated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.