By Dennis Seid
Traders’ anxiety leads stocks to plummet in final hour
n NEW YORK – Traders gave in to another case of last-hour anxiety Monday and drove stocks to their lowest level in seven months.
The Dow fell 115.48, or 1.2 percent, to 9,816.49. The Dow has fallen 4.3 percent in the past two days, its worst back-to-back slide since early May. The Samp&P 500 index fell 14.41, or 1.4 percent, to 1,050.47.
It was the lowest close for the Dow and the Samp&P 500 index since Nov. 4.
The Nasdaq composite index fell 45.27, or 2 percent, to 2,173.90. The Nasdaq stands at its lowest level since Feb. 10.
BofA to pay $108 million in Countrywide settlement
n WASHINGTON – Homeowners who had mortgages serviced by defunct subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp. are eligible for refunds of some improper fees under a $108 million settlement announced Monday by the Federal Trade Commission.
The agency began investigating the loan-servicing business of the company, since acquired by Bank of America, in 2008 amid complaints about fees charged to homeowners who had fallen behind on their mortgages and were in default.
The settlement creates a $108 million fund to provide refunds to homeowners who were overcharged before July 2008, when the company was bought by Bank of America.
Bank of America agreed to settle the charges “to avoid the expense and distraction associated with litigating the case,” it said in a statement. The settlement involved no admission of wrongdoing, Bank of America said.
Weidmann’s restaurant saved from closure
n MERIDIAN – Weidmann’s, a famed landmark restaurant in downtown Meridian for 140 years, has been saved from closure.
The restaurant’s investors have signed a lease with the new operator, Charles Frazier, the current manager of Crescent City Grill in Meridian.
Frazier, who signed the lease this past week, said he wants to incorporate more of the old Weidmann’s recipes and menu items, from when it was more of a lunch counter and diner, rather than the fine dining experience it had become in the recent past. He also plans to bring the prices down to a point where local residents can eat out and not break the bank.
Frazier said The Monkey Bar, on the second floor, will reopen.
Weidmann’s investor Bruce Martin said he expects Frazier to be successful and that that success could rub off on downtown as a whole.
Weidmann’s has been open almost continuously for 140 years. It closed briefly from 2001 to 2002, while it underwent a transformation from diner to an upscale restaurant. It closed again in May 2010.
Daily Journal, wire reports