Royal Bank of Scotland fined by Connecticut judge

The Royal Bank of Scotland was fined $50 million Monday by a federal judge in Connecticut, part of more than $600 million in penalties announced last year for manipulating interest rates.

The bank’s subsidiary, RBS Securities Japan Limited, agreed to pay the fine last year as part of a plea agreement and a judge in U.S. District Court in Hartford approved the penalty Monday. The subsidiary pleaded guilty last April to wire fraud and admitted its role in manipulating the Japanese Yen London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR. That’s the rate that banks use to lend money to each other and provides the basis for trillions of dollars in contracts around the world.

November factory orders signal jump in investment

Factory orders in the U.S. rose in November, signaling a jump in investment that could fuel economic growth in 2014.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that orders of goods such as machinery increased 1.8 percent that month. October was revised to show a 0.5 percent drop, up from a previously reported 0.9 percent decline.

Factory orders climbed 2.5 percent in the past 12 months. In November alone, orders of manufactured goods climbed to $497.9 billion, the highest level since 1992, the agency said.

That, combined with other positive employment and housing data, raised hopes the economy will gain momentum in the new year as Americans increasingly make big-ticket purchases such as houses and automobiles.

Jurors will not be told suspect fainted, judge rules

A federal judge in New York says jurors can’t be told that an insider trading suspect fainted when confronted by federal agents, saying that’s not evidence of guilt.

Judge Paul Gardephe ruled Monday in the case of former hedge fund manager Mathew Martoma, who fainted when FBI agents approached him outside his Florida home in 2011.

Gardephe said being accused of insider trading is likely shocking and highly disturbing, whether someone is guilty or innocent.