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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

SEC Eases Rules on Buybacks

WASHINGTON -- Federal securities regulators announced several steps Friday designed to ease Monday's reopening of the U.S. stock markets following the terrorist attacks.

In a move to calm jittery investors and companies, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it will allow publicly traded companies to repurchase their shares without meeting the usual volume and timing restrictions.

Companies can also repurchase their shares without adverse accounting consequences.

Before the SEC announcement, computer networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. and tax preparer H&R Block Inc. were among several companies that said they would be buying back their shares.

Under SEC law, corporations are restricted from buying back their own shares under certain circumstances, and buybacks are disallowed at the market open and near the close.

Regulators will also let accounting firms provide bookkeeping services to clients with offices around the devastated World Trade Center area without running afoul of auditor independence rules.