Goldman Sachs: Financial Winners & Losers

Goldman Sachs shares rose on a report the bank was looking to settle with U.S. regulators on lesser charges than fraud.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

was among few winners of the financial sector Friday after a report the bank was looking to settle with U.S. regulators on lesser charges than fraud.

Goldman Sachs

is looking to avoid the

Securities and Exchange Commission's

fraud charges by reaching a settlement on a lesser offense and agreeing to a hefty fine, the

Financial Times

reports, citing to people familiar with the bank's negotiating position.

Goldman is trying to focus settlement talks with the SEC on the less serious charge of omitting or misstating material facts to investors, the report said.

A lesser charge would reduce Goldman's risk of being sued by investors and help the bank avoid the reputational damage of having settled a fraud charge, people familiar with the situation told the

FT

.

Goldman Sachs shares were lately up 0.4% to $145.57.

Other U.S. bank stocks were trading lower.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

lost 1.3% to $39.88,

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Report

declined 1.2% to $27.32,

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

fell 0.9% to $16.04, and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

was 0.3% lower at $4.01.

Elsewhere,

American International Group

(AIG) - Get Report

shares fell 1.3% to $36 after

Prudential PLC

(PUK) - Get Report

confirmed it was in discussions to renegotiate a $35.5 billion deal that would see Prudential acquire AIG's Asian unit.

Prudential said discussion "are continuing" and that it "may or may not lead to a change in the terms of the combination of AIA Group Limited and Prudential."

Prudential PLC shares, which rallied sharply higher Thursday on media reports of a renegotiation, were lately down 2.4% to $15.68.

Among analyst moves, Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove upgraded

Jefferies

(JEF) - Get Report

to buy from neutral with a price target of $28. Bove issued the upgrade after meeting with Jefferies CEO Richard Handler on Thursday, noting Handler's "total understanding of every aspect of his business."

"He knows and can immediately recall just about every number related to Jefferies and it appears most of his competitors," Bove wrote. "Unlike so many CEOs who claim a lack of knowledge of certain aspects of their company, Mr. Handler clearly knows and understands what is going on."

Despite the upgrade, Jefferies shares were down 0.6% to $23.52.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston

.

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