In Business This Week
THE SEC TARGETS A MARKET TRICK
The practice is known as "marking the close," and the Securities & Exchange Commission is cracking down on it. On Sept. 1, the SEC accused Myron Levin, an Alexandria (Va.) builder, of using the trading technique to pump up Giant Food's stock price in 1989 and 1990. The SEC alleges that Levin frequently bought Giant shares just before the close of trading, slightly raising the stock's closing price. Those upticks were enough for Levin to avoid margin calls. Levin settled the charges without admitting or denying guilt and agreed not to violate securities laws.
Last month, the SEC announced a similar settlement with a former Advest broker and a customer. They're accused of manipulating the closing price of TeleConcepts shares in 1987 and 1988 to avoid margin calls.EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD