Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. will complete the buyback of auction-rate securities from retail investors six months early under a settlement in principle reached with securities regulators in Missouri, Indiana, and Colorado announced late Monday.

As part of the settlement with the St. Louis-based regional brokerage, Stifel will formally agree to buy back at par ARS still held by its investors in those states by the end of 2011, ahead of a previous commitment it made to do so voluntarily by mid-2012. 

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