September 25, 2013 / 5:16 AM / in 4 years

PRESS DIGEST-New York Times business news - Sept 25

Sept 25 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

* The hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors and federal prosecutors have begun talks to settle criminal insider trading charges against the firm, people briefed on the case said on Tuesday. Settlement discussions are at an early stage, and the two sides are far from any agreement, these people said. The government is seeking a guilty plea from SAC and a financial penalty of as much as $2 billion, they said. ()

* The housing market, one of the main drivers of the economic recovery, continues to gain strength despite the drag of rising mortgage rates and other economic headwinds, but some analysts are worried that it may slow in the months ahead.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co, seeking to avert a wave of litigation from the government, is negotiating a multibillion-dollar settlement with state and federal agencies over the bank’s sale of troubled mortgage securities to investors in the run-up to the financial crisis. ()

* The Obama administration on Tuesday provided the first detailed look at premiums to be charged to consumers for health insurance in 36 states where the federal government will run new insurance markets starting next week, highlighting costs it said were generally lower than previous estimates. ()

* To help prevent the deaths of children hit by cars that are backing up, the Transportation Department said on Tuesday that it would add rear-view cameras to its list of recommended safety measures. The recommendation, though, fell short of a law passed by Congress in 2008 requiring that the department set standards for rear visibility. ()

* New York State, failing to keep pace with technological change and increasingly sophisticated economic crimes, needs to update its laws to help authorities prosecute white-collar wrongdoing, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance. ()

* With the chip-manufacturing industry facing more pressure, Applied Materials Inc is aiming to shore up its business in a big way by striking a big takeover of a Japanese company. Applied Materials agreed on Tuesday to buy smaller rival Tokyo Electron Ltd in an all-stock deal that will create a big new producer of semiconductor and display manufacturing equipment.

* The top law enforcer in New York State is not done scrutinizing high-speed trading based on early looks at sensitive data. Eric Schneiderman, New York State’s attorney general, said on Tuesday that such trading - which he called “insider trading 2.0” - was still a focus of his office, which reached a settlement with Thomson Reuters Corp over the issue in July.

* The business of peer-to-peer loans is drawing still more prominent investors. Prosper Marketplace, one of the biggest companies in the business, disclosed on Tuesday that it had raised $25 million in a new round of financing. The new investment was led by Sequoia Capital and includes BlackRock Inc , the giant money manager, as a new backer. ()

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