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Published on Feb 9, 2012
The major U.S. equity indices closed higher Thursday on positive economic news and a huge settlement deal with big banks.
U.S. States have finally reached a deal with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that occurred back in 2008. The $25 billion settlement would reduce loans for nearly 1 million households and would send checks of $2,000 to about a quarter of a million Americans who were improperly foreclosed upon. The five major banks involved in the settlement include Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY).
The number of Americans filing first-time jobless claims dropped by 15,000 last week - to 358,000 from 373,000 the week prior - and are at an all-time low since March of 2008. The news has given many cause to express optimism over an improving labor market, especially when compiled with January's unemployment rate dipping to 8.3 percent
And in corporate news, Drink maker Pepsico (NYSE:PEP) reported its fourth quarter earnings today that beat estimates as well as announcing it will cut 8,700 jobs, or 3% of its entire workforce. The company also said it plans to pour $500 million to $600 million into brands this year and will have higher dividends and share repurchases in 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed 0.05% higher at 12,890.46, the S&P500 (S&P 500 INDEX,RTH) closed 0.15% higher at 1,351.95, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) closed 0.39% higher at 2,927.23.