Federal and state authorities on Thursday announced a $3.2 billion settlement with Morgan Stanley over bank practices that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, including misrepresentations about the value of mortgage-backed securities. The settlement says the bank acknowledges that it increased the acceptable risk levels for mortgage loans pooled and sold to investors without telling them.

Pricing helps PepsiCo boost profits

PepsiCo said revenue for its North American snacks and drinks units rose in the fourth quarter, boosted by pricing. For the quarter ended Dec. 26, PepsiCo said its profit rose 31 percent to $1.72 billion, also helped by cost cutting.

Mortgage rates keep dropping

Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for the sixth straight week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.65 percent, down from 3.72 percent. The average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage eased to 2.95 percent from 3.01 percent last week.

— From wire reports

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