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Forecast

Thursday: More sunshine, back to normal temps.
High: 63     Winds: S 10-15 mph

Thursday Night: Partly cloudy and not as cold.
Low: 42     Winds: S 5-10 mph

Friday: Increasing clouds with scattered showers in the evening.
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Business News

Last Update on April 17, 2014 07:32 GMT

WORLD MARKETS

HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly lower today, with Japan's Nikkei leading the retreat as investors locked in profits after a strong rally.

Profit taking set in following a sharp rise in Tokyo the day before and as comments from the country's central bank governor left investors unimpressed.

Other regional benchmarks were unable to find direction in spite of optimism in the U.S., where major benchmarks closed at least 1 percent higher, and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank would continue to provide stimulus for the job market.

Trading in some markets such as Hong Kong and Australia was subdued ahead of a long weekend.

Benchmark crude oil rose above $104 a barrel.

The dollar slipped against the euro and the yen.

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

Major business and economic reports scheduled today

WASHINGTON -- Investors today will be taking a close look at the government's weekly jobless claims report.

Also due out is Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate report.

There are a slew of companies set to report their quarterly financial results today. All results will be released before the bell.

Among the major companies reporting are industrial giants DuPont and General Electric.

Two big investment banks, Goldman Sachs; and Morgan Stanley, will report earnings.

Also set to release quarterly results today are PepsiCo, Philip Morris International, Union Pacific, Mattel, UnitedHealth and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

FAST TRADING-SUBPOENAS

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- An official familiar with the investigation says the New York Attorney General's Office has issued subpoenas to six firms and sent a letter to another for details about split-second stock trading and any unfair advantages.

The official tells The Associated Press the subpoenas went last week to trading firms including Chicago-based Jump Trading LLC and Chopper Trading LLC and Tower Research Capital in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss the subpoenas.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said advantages in computer hardware and placement enable some traders to get millisecond timing advances on trades.

His office, with New York authority to investigate securities fraud, is seeking details about trading strategies and special arrangements with trading venues.

DISNEY-SECURITIES FRAUD

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A man will plead guilty to securities fraud and pay regulators around $801,000 for using insider information to profit from Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009.

According to the deal filed in Los Angeles federal court Wednesday, Toby Scammell learned from his then-girlfriend, a Disney corporate strategy employee, that Disney would acquire a well-known company she didn't name.

Scammell learned from his consulting company that Disney had previously wanted to acquire Marvel. He bought call options in Marvel stock for around $5,500, and later sold them for $192,000 in profit.

Last month, Scammell agreed to settle a parallel civil case and pay $801,000 to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will be credited to his fine in the criminal case. He also faces prison time.

VOLKSWAGEN-UNION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The fight over whether workers at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee can unionize is moving to Washington.

Two House Democrats said Wednesday they will investigate whether Republicans in that state may have violated "or otherwise run afoul" of any federal laws ahead of a February vote in which workers narrowly opted against joining the United Auto Workers.

Congressmen George Miller of California and John Tierney of Massachusetts say they want to know if any Tennessee Republicans attached any inappropriate strings to the state's $300 million incentive package to get VW to expand the Chattanooga plant.

The union claims the election was tainted by Republicans including U.S. Sen. Bob Corker.

Corker and others have denied doing anything inappropriate.

A hearing on the UAW's complaint is set for Monday in Chattanooga.

YAHOO SEVERANCE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo's recently fired chief operating officer, Henrique de Castro, left the Internet company with a severance package of $58 million even though he lasted just 15 months on the job.

The disclosure in a regulatory filing may lead to more second-guessing of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to hire de Castro as her second-in-command in October 2012.

Mayer dumped de Castro in January after concluding he wasn't executing on her plan for reviving Yahoo's lackluster ad growth. De Castro had been in charge of ad sales.

Yahoo Inc. previously disclosed de Castro would be getting a severance package, but didn't reveal the amount until Wednesday.

The company's board said most of the severance stemmed from the costs of luring de Castro from his previous job at Google Inc.

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Business News

Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains

HONG KONG (AP) -- Asian stock markets were mostly lower today, with Japan's Nikkei leading the retreat as investors locked in profits after a strong rally.

Consumer Info

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Entertainment News

AMY POEHLER AND WILL ARNETT DIVORCING

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- They've been separated for more than a year and a half.

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WORKPLACE POT

DENVER (AP) -- One of Colorado's biggest marijuana businesses -- isn't high on pot on the job.

Science/Tech News

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Another one bites the dust.

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