Here are the headlines from Monday's Bloomberg Market Report.
Federal regulators have reached an $8.5 billion settlement with ten of the country's largest mortgage lenders. In exchange for the payment, regulators will end case by case reviews of foreclosure abuse claims. Under the deal, banks, including Chase and Bank of America, will provide more than $5 billion in mortgage assistance and more than $3 billion in direct payments to borrowers.
Bank of America is involved in a separate settlement as well; shelling out $3.6 billion to buy back mortgages it sold to the government enterprise. The settlement is related to Bank of America's takeover of Countrywide.
Stocks fell as investors prepared for corporate earnings reports, which kick off with Aloca reporting after the close.
There is some good news for workers dealing with higher payroll taxes in the New Year. Labor Department figures show hourly earnings were up about a third of a percent in December for the second month in a row. The increase marks the largest back-to-back increase since the middle of 2009.
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