Two Small NYSE Specialists Settle Trading Allegations

Two of the smallest specialist firms on the New York Stock Exchange will pay $5.2 million to settle allegations from a trading investigation that has already collected $242 million in fines and restitution from five other trading firms.

Securities regulators announced the deal with SIG Specialists and Performance Specialists, nearly four months after it reached a settlement with the NYSE's five biggest specialist firms. In the latest deal, SIG will pay a total of $3 million, while Performance will cough up $2.2 million.

The joint investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NYSE has focused on alleged trading infractions by the seven firms that drive trading in Big Board stocks. Regulators contend the firms violated their obligation to give investors the best possible price on a stock.

In a press release, regulators say the investigation will now turn its focus to individuals who may be responsible "for the violative conduct.''

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