(Goldman and other stock prices brought current, Bove price target change on Goldman added to this update.)
NEW YORK (
was among the few winners of the financial sector Friday following a report of market chatter that the bank may be moving to settle the civil fraud charges filed against it by the
Securities and Exchange Commission
traded as high as $145.22 earlier in the session after
noted the market chatter about settlement talks with SEC. The rumor comes a week after
The Financial Times
reported that Goldman is looking to avoid the SEC's fraud charges by reaching a settlement on a lesser offense and agreeing to a hefty fine.
The SEC charged Goldman Sachs on April 16, alleging that the bank defrauded investors by failing to appropriately disclose vital information about how it structured and marketed a synthetic collateralized debt obligation, or CDO, tied to the performance of the subprime residential mortgage-backed securities.
Chatter about a potential settlement between Goldman and SEC is nothing new. In late April, a source told
The New York Post
that "It's almost a certainty that there will be a settlement." In early May,
Fox Business News
The Wall Street Journal
reported that preliminary talks were held between Goldman co-general counsel Gregory Palm and other lawyers and SEC officials.
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Goldman shares followed the broader market lower late in Friday's session, falling nearly 1% to $142.90.
Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove said in a research note Friday that he was cutting his price target for Goldman to $182 from $200, citing the European debt situation, a weak business environment, the financial regulation bill, and the potential settlement with the SEC.
"In sum, Goldman's stock is likely to stay under pressure," Bove wrote. "However, I still would rather buy than sell it. The long term outlook for this company has not dimmed."
Most other bank stocks were under pressure Friday after a separate market rumor that France's
has possibly seen losses in its derivatives operations. A SocGen spokesperson refused to comment on the rumor, according to several media outlets.
reports that SocGen is telling analysts that it didn't suffer losses on derivatives, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Among overseas banks trading lower,
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
Royal Bank of Scotland
was down 7%,
National Bank of Greece
slid 6.1%, and
Allied Irish Bank
was off 5.2%.
Back in the U.S.,
fell 4.3% to $3.79,
lost 3.2% to $27.93,
slid 2.9% to $37.97,
was off 2.9% to $26.07, and
Bank of America
was down 2.7% to $15.39.
In other bank news,
Bank of New York Mellon
announced plans to offer $700 million worth of common stock. As part of the $700 million public offering, the bank enter into a forward sale agreement with Goldman Sachs. The bank will not receive any proceeds from the offering until settlement of the forward sale agreement, which is expected to occur within five months from the date of the offering.
said it intends to use any proceeds upon settlement of the forward sale agreement to consummate its acquisition of PNC's Global Investment Servicing business or for general corporate purposes. In February, Bank of New York said it would buy the business from PNC for $2.3 billion.
Bank of New York shares were down 4.3% to $26.11.
American International Group
CEO Robert Benmosche wants time to explore options besides a public offering for its Asian life unit after a deal to sell it to
was terminated, a source familiar with the matter told
Benmosche wants to explore other options for American International Assurance, including selling parts of the business, after AIG's board on Monday voted down a sale to Prudential at a reduced price, the report.
AIG shares were down 1.5% to $34.66.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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