Raymond James & Associates will have to defend a class action suit alleging that it defrauded the buyers of auction-rate securities, a New York judge has ruled. The case is the first of at least 19 class action suits brought in the aftermath of the 2008 auction-rate securities crash to survive its initial judicial review; at least eight previous cases were scrapped when judges ruled they had failed to meet pleading requirements. "The firm intends to vigorously defend itself and expects to ultimately prevail on all counts," a company spokeswoman said.

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