WASHINGTON (AP) -- Stock analysts will have to certify that their reports and public comments reflect their true personal views and that they weren't paid by the companies they assessed, under a new rule adopted by federal regulators.
The Securities and Exchange Commission voted last week to approve the rule, which it proposed last year in response to the collapses of Enron and other big companies whose stock analysts had publicly promoted despite harboring doubts about the companies' finances.
Wall Street analysts have been sharply criticized by regulators and lawmakers for touting stocks of companies for whom their firms do lucrative investment-banking business. Several prominent analysts, especially in the high-tech area, are under investigation for possible violations of federal law.
The new SEC rule has been criticized by small-investor advocates and some lawmakers as not going far enough.