That's fine with investors, since it adds to the likelihood of the FOMC not tapering QE3 until next year.

Turning to U.S. bank stocks, the KBW Bank Index ( I:BKX) rose slightly to close at 65.04, with winners and losers roughly split.

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that the expected agreement on multiple settlements of criminal and civil investigations of JPMorgan Chase's mortgage lending and sales activities was "at risk of collapse." The Department of Justice is leading the settlement negotiations. As part of the broad bundle of settlements, JPMorgan on Friday announced an agreement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to pay Fannie Mae ( FNMA) and Freddie Mac ( FMCC) $5.1 billion to settle loss claims on mortgage-backed securities from JPM, as well as from Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, which JPMorgan acquired during 2008 through government-sponsored deals.

JPMorgan admitted no wrongdoing in the FHFA settlement. The broad settlement with the Justice Department springs from a dispute between the bank and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Following the failure of Washington Mutual in September 2008, the FDIC sold the nation's largest S&L to JPMorgan. The DoJ and JPMorgan continue to dispute how liable JPMorgan should be for actions taken by Washington Mutual leading up to its failure.

JPMorgan's shares rose slightly to close at $52.59.


-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

>Contact by Email.

Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.

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