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SEC seeks rules to protect against ‘flash crash’

The top U.S. securities regulator wants new rules to help protect exchanges and other trading venues from computer-generated volume spikes and hackers seeking to harm the country’s capital markets. Get the full story »

GE, Google earnings help stocks to fast start

U.S. stocks opened higher Friday, bouncing back after two days of declines, as strong earnings from General Electric Co. and Google Inc. lifted investor hopes.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 64.63 points, or 0.55 percent, at 11,887.43. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 7.15 points, or 0.56 percent, at 1,287.41. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.80 points, or 0.55 percent, at 2,719.09.

U.S. trading in China’s yuan seen as symbolic

China is allowing U.S. currency traders to have a crack at its tightly controlled currency, the yuan, but analysts say the move will have more impact on international politics than markets.

“It’s a peace offering to the rest of the world,” said Dean Popplewell, chief currency strategist at the Toronto office of the Oanda Corp., a currency trading services company. Get the full story »

Leading indicators show strength heading into ‘11

A gauge of future economic activity rose in November, at the fastest pace since March, suggesting the economy will strengthen early next year.

The Conference Board said its index of leading economic indicators rose 1.1 percent last month — the biggest increase since March, when the index jumped 1.4 percent. Get the full story »

Comex raises margins, silver futures plunge

Tighter margin requirements for silver futures triggered a sharp selloff Wednesday that spread to gold.

Silver for December delivery declined $1.84, or 6.3 percent, to $27.15 an ounce on the Comex. Get the full story »

CFTC’s Gensler sees real-time swaps reports in year

The head of the U.S. futures regulator said Tuesday that mandatory real-time reporting of swaps trades, a key measure to promote market transparency, could begin as early as September 2011.

Gary Gensler, Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has been reluctant to provide details or a timetable for new rules to oversee the swaps markets until recently, but his latest remarks offered some early insight on the agency’s direction. Get the full story »

Russell 1000, ETFs added to ‘flash crash’ halts

The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted new rules Friday to expand the trading halts it implemented after the May 6 “flash crash” and to harmonize stock exchanges’ procedures for breaking erroneous trades. Get the full story »

BP booted from ethical investment index

BP Plc will be evicted from the FTSE4Good ethical investment index after its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, index compiler FTSE said Friday, as BP said it would delay its third-quarter results due to the challenges of accounting for spill costs.

FTSE said BP would be dropped from FTSE4Good, which many managers of ethical funds use to screen companies before including them in their portfolios, Sept. 18, citing a FTSE policy committee. Get the full story »

SEC looks at stub quote ban after flash crash

Regulators probing the stock market “flash crash” in May still have not uncovered a single cause but will point to “stub quotes” and other previously identified issues as having exacerbated the market’s dramatic drop, according to two sources familiar with the probe.

A third source said the Securities and Exchange Commission is still asking about a “smoking gun” that might explain the May 6 crash, when the Dow Jones industrial average plunged some 700 points before sharply recovering, all in about 20 minutes. Get the full story »

Trading in OTC interest-rate swaps set to start

Five Chicago trading firms will soon start an exchange to handle trading of over-the-counter interest rate swaps, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Getco LLC, DRW Holding, Infinium Capital Management, Chicago Trading Co. and Nico Holdings LLC received approval for a so-called exempt board of trade from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission several months ago, the source said. Get the full story »

Jobs jolt too much for stocks in slow session

A disappointing jobs report sent stocks falling Friday and gave the Dow Jones industrial average its longest losing streak since the worst days of the financial crisis.

The Dow dropped 46 points Friday for its seventh straight loss and its longest slide since October 2008. The Dow and other major indexes posted big losses for a second straight week. Get the full story »

Derivative probe promised in dairy volatility

Multiple U.S. regulators are examining the role of derivative markets run by CME Group (CME) in fostering volatility in dairy prices, Assistant Atty. Gen. Christine Varney said Friday.

Dairy farmers have long blamed the derivatives markets for distorting prices and are becoming increasingly vocal about the effect of big retailers on competition in the sector. Get the full story »

Jeffrey Gundlach: Deflation, double dip ahead

Jeffrey Gundlach, the star bond fund manager who proclaimed in 2007 that subprime mortgages were going to become an unmitigated disaster, is not optimistic now either.

But rather than fearing runaway inflation, as many Americans do, Gundlach is concerned that the nation has at least a couple of years of deflation ahead and perhaps a double dip recession.  Speaking at the Morningstar annual conference in Chicago he said the country is burdened by debt levels so high that they cannot go on much longer without threatening the country.

Senate approves sweeping financial reform bill

Reuters | The U.S. Senate approved a sweeping Wall Street reform bill on Thursday night, capping months of wrangling over the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s.

By a vote of 59 to 39, the Senate handed a victory to President Barack Obama, a champion of tighter rules for banks and capital markets following the 2007-2009 financial crisis that led to a deep recession and massive taxpayer bailouts.

Stocks end the day with a gain of 404 points

Associated Press | Stocks rocketed higher and bond prices fell on Monday after investors were
reassured by a nearly $1 trillion plan to avoid a European debt crisis. The Dow closed up more than 400 points.

Get the full story: Stocks surge on plan to aid Europe.