Supreme Court raises bar for securities class action cases

The Supreme Court is making it tougher for investors to join together to sue corporations for securities fraud.

The justices said Monday that companies should have a chance at the early stages of a lawsuit to show that any alleged fraud was not responsible for a drop in the company's stock price.

The ruling is a partial victory for Halliburton Co., which is trying to block a class-action lawsuit claiming the energy services company inflated its stock price.

It is also a modest win for business groups that hoped to make it more difficult for plaintiffs to bring class-action cases.

But the high court rejected Halliburton's request to overturn a quarter-century-old precedent that has made it easier for plaintiffs to negotiate billions of dollars in legal settlements.