JPMorgan Chase admits traders acted ‘recklessly’

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and admitted that its traders acted “recklessly” during a series of London trades that ultimately cost the bank $6 billion.

The settlement announced Wednesday by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission comes less than a month after JPMorgan, the nation’s largest bank, agreed to pay $920 million and admit fault in a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other U.S. and British regulators.

The stunning trading losses that surfaced in April 2012 shook the financial world and damaged JPMorgan’s reputation. The CFTC deal differs from the previous agreement because JPMorgan is formally acknowledging that its traders recklessly distorted prices to reduce the banks’ losses at the expense of other market participants. In the SEC agreement, JPMorgan admitted only that it failed to supervise those traders.

Home builders’ outlook less rosy amid impasse

U.S. home builders are feeling less confident in the housing market, reflecting their uncertainty over the budget impasse in Washington.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday fell to 55 in October. That’s down from a reading of 57 in September. September’s reading was revised one point lower from its initial estimate.

Measures of current sales conditions for single-family homes, builders’ outlook over the next six months and traffic by prospective buyers all declined in October.

Fed says economic growth slowed in four key districts

The Federal Reserve said economic growth slowed in a few key regions from September through early October, as businesses grew worried about the budget impasse.

Overall, the economy continued to expand at a “modest to moderate” pace, according to the Fed survey released Wednesday. Eight of the Fed’s 12 banking districts reported the same growth rate as they had reported in August through early September. Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago and Kansas City said growth had slowed.

Bank of America income surges in third quarter

Third-quarter profit for Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. bank, surged as it saw increases from investments and interest.

Net income jumped to $2.5 billion in the July-September period, up from $340 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were 20 cents beating the 19 cents forecast.

Third-quarter revenue slipped to $22.2 billion from $22.5 billion, coming in close to the analysts’ forecast of $22 billion.

– From news service reports