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Finish Line up 20% in 2nd quarter

Finish Line’s net income rose 20 percent in its fiscal second quarter as a key revenue metric climbed and sales improved at the athletic footwear and clothing company.

The results beat Wall Street’s expectations, and the company raised the high end of its fiscal 2013 earnings forecast.

The Indianapolis company also said it has a deal to put Finish Line shops in more than 450 Macy’s stores in the U.S.

Its stock gained almost 10 percent in premarket trading.

Finish Line Inc. said it earned $25 million, or 49 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 1. That compares with $20.9 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts expected 44 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue climbed 16 percent to $385 million from $331.5 million, helped by strong sales of running and basketball merchandise. Wall Street analysts forecast $358.3 million.

Shares closed at $22.73, down 2 cents on the Nasdaq at the end of trading on Friday.

GM top among automotive stocks

The top-performing stock among automakers in the U.S. this quarter is General Motors.

The company, which endured management upheaval during the third quarter and announced it would lose substantial cash in Europe, saw its shares rise 15 percent from July through the end of September. The gain was the best since the first quarter of this year, when the stock climbed about 23 percent. GM, which has an Allen County truck plant and a Defiance, Ohio, foundry, posted strong profits in that period.

GM’s stock outperformed all other major automakers in the U.S. including rival Ford Motor Co., which saw its shares rise 3 percent.

General Motors Co.’s gains for the quarter surprised industry watchers, given publicity about management changes and the continued sales slump in Europe hitting nearly every automaker. During the quarter, GM ousted its marketing chief and the head of European operations. It also lost several other key executives.

BofA settles suit, to pay $2.43 billion

Bank of America says it has agreed to pay $2.43 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit related to its acquisition of Merrill Lynch at the height of the financial crisis.

In the lawsuit, shareholders alleged that Bank of America and some of its officers made false or misleading statements about both companies’ financial health.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of investors who bought or held Bank of America stock when the company announced its plans to buy Merrill Lynch in a $20 billion deal as the banking industry and federal regulators struggled to contain fallout from the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.

Rising prices, flat pay handcuff consumers

Americans boosted spending 0.5 percent in August even though their income barely grew, the Commerce Department said Friday. Much of the increase went to pay higher gas prices, which rose nearly 50 cents per gallon in July and August.

Income ticked up 0.1 percent. After accounting for inflation and taxes, income actually fell 0.3 percent, the poorest performance since November.

High unemployment and weak pay increases have kept Americans from spending more freely.