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Financial 411: Hedge Funds Under the Microscope

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Bank Stocks Lead Market Rally

Bank stocks led a market rally on Tuesday, as at least one bank dropped hints that it might raise its dividend. In the wake of the financial crisis, big banks slashed payments to shareholders, but Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan said the bank expects to make more money over the next two years, leading some analysts to conclude that dividends will get fatter.

In trading Tuesday, the Dow soared 127 points, ending at 12,218. The Nasdaq rose 20 points, to close at 2,766. The S&P 500 settled at 1,322, with a gain of 12 points.

Freedom Debt Relief Agrees to $1 Million Settlement

A national debt-relief company has agreed to pay more than $1 million to end a New York state investigation into its practices. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Freedom Debt Relief will also refund more than 5,000 New Yorkers who have enrolled in its program since 2003. The California-based company misled debt-saddled consumers about the amount of money they would save and the services it would provide. The end result, according to Schneiderman , is that desperate people ended up further in debt.

NY Trial Begins in Insider Trading Case

One of the biggest insider-trading cases in recent years began jury selection in a New York federal courthouse on Tuesday. Prosecutors accuse Raj Rajaratnam, founder of Galleon Group hedge fund, of insider trading in well-known companies like Goldman Sachs to earn millions of dollars. It's a case built on hours of wire taps and informants' information. More than two dozen people have already been charged.

Susan Pulliam, a senior investigative reporter at the Wall Street Journal, talks about why Wall Street is so fascinated by this case. She also discusses how the federal investigation into insider trading will continue.

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