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Traders gather at the booth that trades Abbott Laboratories on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - Earnings season shifts into high gear next week, and with nearly one-third of S&P 500 names set to post results, investors hope the news provides a catalyst to buy stocks and leave the market's recent weakness in the dust. Several behemoths, including Apple, the largest U.S. company by market value, as well as Microsoft, McDonald's and AT&T , are due to report earnings. They'll be accompanied by highfliers like Netflix and Facebook, giving the first real cross-section of the state of corporate America as temperatures rise across the country and investors hope to put the cold weather behind them. Strategists will also be looking for clues on how badly China's slowdown hits U.S. corporate results.


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File photo of fire boat response crews battling the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon off LouisianaFour years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over. Jules Melancon, the last remaining oyster fisherman on an island dotted with colorful houses on stilts, says he has not found a single oyster alive in his leases in the area since the leak and relies on an onshore oyster nursery to make a living. The British oil major has paid out billions of dollars in compensation under a settlement experts say is unprecedented in its breadth. Some claimants are satisfied, but others are irate that BP is now challenging aspects of the settlement.


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A man walks past a row of General Motors vehicles at a Chevrolet dealership on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MichiganIf General Motors Co creates a fund to compensate victims of its faulty ignition switches, an option that a top legal adviser suggested it is exploring, the company could give up strong defenses to a wave of lawsuits. By setting up a fund, GM could avert years of civil litigation and limit its financial and reputational harm. GM has retained Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington lawyer who has overseen compensation funds for victims of high-profile catastrophes like the BP Plc oil spill and the September 11, 2001, attacks. Feinberg told CNBC on Wednesday that GM is "asking me to help develop some sort of program that might be used to compensate eligible claimants." Feinberg did not return a request for comment.


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The Apple logo is pictured at its flagship retail store in San FranciscoBy Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four large technology companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court document filed late on Thursday by employees suing the firms. Tech workers brought a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to avoid competing for each other's employees in order to avert a salary war. The case, which is closely watched in Silicon Valley, is largely built on emails among top executives, including Apple's late chief executive Jobs and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.


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The Monte dei Paschi bank headquarters is pictured in SienaThe board of Italy's Monte dei Paschi di Siena approved increasing the size of a planned capital increase to 5 billion euros ($6.9 billion) from 3 billion euros to absorb any potential loss stemming from a European health check of lenders. In a statement on Friday, the bank said the higher capital increase may also allow it to repay early 4.1 billion euros of state aid it received last year. An extraordinary shareholder meeting was called for May 20 to vote on the revised capital increase proposal.


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Employees of Soil Machine Dynamics work on a subsea mining machine being built for Nautilus Minerals at WallsendBy Stephen Eisenhammer and Silvia Antonioli NEWCASTLE, England/LONDON (Reuters) - The world's first deep sea mining robot sits idle on a British factory floor, waiting to claw up high grade copper and gold from the seabed off Papua New Guinea (PNG) - when a wrangle over terms is solved. The world waits for the judgment of a United Nations agency based in Jamaica. The marine area beyond national jurisdiction is 50 percent of the Ocean," said Nii Odunton, secretary general of the U.N.'s International Seabed Authority (ISA). "I believe the grades look good, the abundance looks good, I believe that money will be made," Odunton said from the ISA offices in Kingston.


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Businessman walks in Tokyo's business districtJapanese companies' investments in Southeast Asia surged last year to almost three times the amount invested in China, after relations between Beijing and Tokyo soured in 2012 and Chinese labor costs rose, a government agency of Japan said on Friday. Japanese companies invested 2.33 trillion yen ($22.8 billion) in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam last year, compared with 887 billion yen in China, Japan's largest trading partner, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), said. Investments doubled in Southeast Asia and fell 18 percent in China over 2012 and China's waning attraction is likely to continue as the ratio of companies planning expansion there fell to a record low of below 55 percent, JETRO said, citing a survey of Japanese companies.


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Amari speaks to the media after meetings with Froman in TokyoBy Krista Hughes and Kaori Kaneko WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) - U.S.-Japan talks aimed at a trade deal seen as vital to a broader regional pact are in stalemate, Japan's economy minister said, as negotiators struggle to narrow gaps ahead of a summit between the countries' leaders. The TPP is central to U.S. President Barack Obama's policy of expanding America's presence in Asia. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for his part, has touted the TPP as a main element of his strategy to reform the world's third largest economy and generate sustainable growth. "A stalemate continues," Japan's Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters in Washington after talks with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.


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The company logo is seen on the bonnet of a Audi car during the media day ahead of the 84th Geneva Motor Show in GenevaBy Norihiko Shirouzu BEIJING (Reuters) - Volkswagen's luxury division Audi plans to sell about half a million cars this year in China, the world's biggest auto market, and raise the number of its Chinese dealers to 500 by 2017. The German automaker hopes its car sales will exceed 500,000 this year, executives told reporters on Friday before the Beijing auto show, which opens on Sunday. Foreign auto makers, such as General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp , and domestic players such as SAIC Motor Corp have been competing aggressively in China, where rising affluence is boosting car ownership. "This country has an increasing number of mega cities," Audi Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said, naming Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as examples.


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A Michaels arts and crafts store is seen in San Diego, California(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. Michaels Stores said the breach, which took place between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014, may have affected about 2.6 million cards, or about 7 percent of payment cards used at its stores during the period. There was no evidence that data such as customers' name or personal identification number were at risk, Michaels Stores said in a statement.


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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks were mostly higher in trading muted by Good Friday observance.Read the Rest of This Story

In this photo taken on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, two men have a chat with 87 year old Leza Wauters, right, owner of the old corner pub "In de Welkom" in Dworp, 15 kilometers (10 miles) south of Brussels. Serving local geuze, triples and pils beers for generations, “In the Welcome” embodied all things Belgian beer brings to mind, linking families and friends for generations with countless cheers of "sante" and "gezondheid" before gulping down the tastiest of suds before ordering another. Thousands of such bars in town and villages have closed over the past decades, and on top of it, Belgians have stopped drinking like they used to. Now they have foreigners pick up the slack to keep the beer industry going. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)DWORP, Belgium (AP) — The ruby lettering on the front of the old corner pub "In de Welkom" has peeled almost beyond recognition. Owner Leza Wauters, a tough 87-year-old, is holding on to her business but can't say how much longer. Sooner or later, yet another bar with a warm "Welcome" will be gone.


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President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 17, 2014. The president spoke about health care overhaul and the situation in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)WASHINGTON (AP) — A surge of eleventh-hour enrollments has improved the outlook for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more people signing up overall and a much-needed spark of interest among young adults.


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NEW YORK (AP) — Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.Read the Rest of This Story
DETROIT (AP) — Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tribute SUVs in cold-weather states to fix rusting frame parts.Read the Rest of This Story
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police hauled away dozens of workers Friday to break up a march on a factory complex targeted by tens of thousands of laborers striking against the world's largest maker of athletic shoes, while a government trade union said it would mediate the labor dispute.Read the Rest of This Story
BEIJING (AP) — Faced with growing public anger about a poisonous environment, China's government released a yearslong study that shows nearly one-fifth of the country's farmland is contaminated with toxic metals, a stunning indictment of unfettered industrialization under the Communist Party's authoritarian rule.Read the Rest of This Story
NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart is delving deeper into financial services at its stores and shaking up the money transfer business.Read the Rest of This Story

This April 1, 2014 photo shows the ignition switch of a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt in Alexandria, Va. A federal judge in Texas on Thursday, April 17, 2014 denied an emergency motion that would have forced General Motors to tell owners of 2 million recalled cars to stop driving their vehicles until their ignition switches are repaired. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)DETROIT (AP) — A Texas federal judge has denied an emergency motion that would have forced General Motors to tell owners of more than 2 million recalled cars to stop driving them until the ignition switches are replaced.


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In this Wednesday, March 26, 2014 photo, Chet Kanojia, the founder and CEO of Aereo, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in New York. The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court in late April 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)NEW YORK (AP) — The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week.


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10 Hidden Features of the Galaxy S5You already know that the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a 16MP camera with awesome features, a 5/1” FHD Super AMOLED display, a fingerprint scanner, a built-in heart rate monitor and also is IP67 certified Dust …


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Milk Music, Free Radio Service by Samsung: 3 Things You Need to KnowMilk Music™ is a new, fully customizable, free and ad-free music radio service with an intuitive user interface that offers more than 200 stations.   Although this is a pretty solid description of Samsung's free …


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Antitrust in the New Gilded AgeThose laws should prevent or bust up concentrations of economic power that not only harm consumers but also undermine our democracy -- such as the pending Comcast acquisition of Time-Warner.


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Nikki Parker is responsible for marketing and communications at Freelancer.com across North America, Australia and New Zealand. Nikki leads a team of communications and marketing experts who work with business, partners and the media to grow Freelancer across these regions. Nikki is a company media spokesperson and represents Freelancer as a speaker at industry events globally. ...Read the Rest of This Story

More Proof That American Health Care Prices Are Sky-HighAs anyone who's ever paid a health insurance premium or a hospital bill knows, medical care is expensive. What Americans may not know is that residents of other countries don't pay nearly as much for the same things. The latest data from the International Federation of Health Plans, an industry group representing health insurers from 28 countries including the United States, once again illustrates that American patients pay the highest prices in the world for a variety of prescription drugs and common procedures like childbirth and hospital stays. ...


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Summary: Samsung and Amazon agreed to launch ‘Kindle for Samsung’, a custom-built eBook service offering millions of best-selling books, newspapers and magazines on readers’ mobile devices including over 500,000 exclusive titles. Samsung and Amazon will …Read the Rest of This Story

Samsung Applies Advanced, Eco-friendly Packaging to the Galaxy SeriesSummary: Samsung has developed and expanded applications for eco-friendly package to the Galaxy Series, reducing energy use and supporting the recycling of unused resources. Continuing from Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, Samsung maintained its …


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Ernesto Zedillo: Director of the DayCo-authored with Arthur Phillips, research associate at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Directorships, 2008 - 2012: 5* Total director compensation, 2008 - 2012: $3,626,109** Average annual director compensation, 2008 - 2012: $725,222 Average compensation per full year of service as director: $244,276 *Zedillo was a director of the Electronic Data Systems Corporation from October 2007 to August 2008; however, compensation for his service in 2008 is not available and therefore not included in the above calculations. ...


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The Democratizing Power of Crowdfunding and the JOBS ActWhile the democratizing power of crowdfunding will certainly help the next generation of founders, the benefits of greater market freedom will reach well beyond company founders.


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On the Meaning of EntrepreneurshipThe path to starting and scaling a venture-backed business is defined by a series of hurdles and gateways that become more challenging as you move through each one.


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Be Careful What You Wish ForI have the pleasure of working with many teams each year on how to shorten sales cycles, avoid pricing pressure and accelerate growth. I was working with a top-performing group recently. This past quarter they crushed their goals.


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Planning for SummerBesides looking forward to taking a much needed vacation -- if you're lucky enough to schedule one this year -- you should be thinking about how your business can capitalize in what for many companies is a slow season. In fact, the following planning tools can be utilized by any business with a slow season.


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Looking Beyond Today: Securing Your Employees' Retirement Future and Your Bottom LineApril marks Financial Literacy Month. It's the perfect opportunity for employers to start providing financial education programs to employees, and for employees to ask about the benefits they receive and education that's available in their workplace.


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Pregnant Worker Says Pier 1 Imports Forced Her To Take Unpaid LeaveA pregnant worker has filed a lawsuit challenging Pier 1 Imports' policies toward expectant mothers, saying the home-goods retailer forced her to take unpaid leave due to her pregnancy. In her suit filed in California state court on Wednesday, Kimberly Erin Caselman argues that the company's practice of providing pregnant workers with eight weeks of light duty and then placing them on leave runs afoul of state discrimination laws. Caselman told HuffPost that she could have kept performing her job with a few small accommodations. ...


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The Daily Innovator: It's Not Who You Know But How They ThinkStudents of reasoning styles can boost their success at convincing others of the wisdom of a new idea by identifying and adapting to the logic filters of decision makers. Sizing up a situation realistically lets us know what to expect when we're pitching a new idea, and how to make the most of it.


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Marooned in Middle Management? Something Is MissingThese talented employees have frequently done everything asked of them, and they've done it well. And yet, they just don't seem to be good candidates for leadership.


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5 Reasons You Absolutely Must Optimize Your Website for MobileShoppers have little patience for an unwieldy website and one-third of them will leave a transaction if the site isn't optimized for mobile.


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Matt Taibbi: America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'Living in America has taught Matt Taibbi that we as a society have "a profound hatred of the weak and the poor." That's one claim the former Rolling Stone writer makes in his new book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap." Taibbi defended this statement in a HuffPost Live interview on Tuesday. "Any American understands that there's this tremendous pressure to succeed and we think about people, for instance, who are on the welfare system and we think of them without compassion," he told host Alyona Minkovski. "We think of them as unsympathetic characters because


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Content marketing has always been a part of advertising, but the big difference is that content is finally accountable, says Sean Black, Managing Partner and Group Digital Director at MediaCom, during an interview for Beet.TV with Paul Kontonis, SVP Strategy & Sales at Collective Digital Studio. "Content marketing has always been around but it's getting more attention, and now we are just adding a layer of accountbaility," he explains. "Look at orginal daytime shows. Brands were weaving themselves into content. Now we can track. ...Read the Rest of This Story
Michelle McComb is the Chief Financial Officer for Datto, Inc., a global, award-winning vendor of backup, disaster recovery (BDR) and business continuity solutions based in Norwalk, CT. McComb oversees Datto's finance and human resources departments. How has your life experience made you the leader you are today? I've learned that everyone has a past, and whatever that past, it molds us into who we are today - be it positively or negatively. I've learned to embrace all the aspects of my life, even the negative ones, to make me a better leader and a more informed person. How has yourRead the Rest of This Story

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