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Business briefs

JPMorgan Chase probe

Wall Street bank JPMorgan Chase has confirmed federal regulators are investigating whether it allowed a hedge fund to improperly choose assets for a $1.1-billion mortgage securities deal. A spokeswoman said Monday the bank was "cooperating fully with the inquiry" by the Securities and Exchange Commission. ProPublica, an independent news organization, reported last spring that hedge fund Magnetar Capital bought the riskiest portions of the $1.1-billion deal as a way to bet against the mortgage market.

FTC pressed on car rentals

The Federal Trade Commission is being asked to explain why the rental industry shouldn't have to live by the same rule that requires auto dealers to fix recalled vehicles before they can be sold. Two consumer groups and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) have asked the FTC to force the country's largest rental company, Enterprise Holdings Inc., to fix recalled vehicles before renting them. Enterprise Holdings is the parent company of Enterprise, National and Alamo. An Enterprise spokeswoman said: "In most cases, we place a 'hold' on recalled vehicles so they are not rented until the recall work is completed."

$351M for Wilmington Trust

M&T Bank Corp. said Monday it is paying about $351 million for beleaguered Wilmington Trust Corp., whose real estate loan portfolio has been deteriorating with no end in sight. The deal comes after Wilmington Trust, based in Delaware, posted a net loss of $369.9 million in the third quarter. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2011.

Stocks flat before elections

Stocks closed mixed Monday as traders waited for this week's election results and more details about the Federal Reserve's plan to stimulate the economy. The Dow rose 6.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to finish at 11,124.62 The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.12, or 0.1 percent, to 1,184.38, while the technology-focused Nasdaq composite index fell 2.57, or 0.1 percent, to 2,504.84.

Madoff fraud case settlement

Federal regulators have reached a settlement with a New York brokerage firm and its executives to resolve allegations into Bernard Madoff's epic fraud. Cohmad Securities Corp., Robert Jaffe, Maurice "Sonny" Cohn and Marcia Cohn agreed not to break securities laws and will pay civil fines and restitution, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Monday.

From wire reports

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