Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings are being investigated by the New York Attorney General over whether they breached a 2008 settlement with the state, a person familiar with the matter said. The companies reached an agreement with then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that required them to adopt changes to their operations. Eric Schneiderman, the current attorney general, is probing whether they complied with the agreement, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the probe. The US justice department and state attorneys general this week sued S&P, accusing the company of inflating ratings on mortgage-backed securities during the housing bubble. New York wasn’t one of the states that sued. Michael Adler, a Moody’s spokesman, and Dan Noonan, a Fitch spokesman, didn’t immediately respond to e-mails on Thursday after regular business hours seeking comment about the New York probe.
US jobless claims point to healing in labour market
The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell last week and a trend reading hit a near five-year low, signs a grinding recovery in the labour market remains on track. Other reports on Thursday showed many top US retailers had strong sales in January even as customers were hit with higher taxes, while productivity at businesses slumped in the fourth quarter. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, the labour department said. That was enough to pull down a four-week moving
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