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US stocks rally on positive economic, earnings news

US stocks rallied for a third straight day on Wednesday, lifted by some positive economic and corporate earnings news, with Yahoo surging six percent as it beat Wall Street forecasts. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 162.29 points (1.00 percent) at 16,424.85. The broad-based S&P 500 surged 19.33 (1.05 percent) to 1,862.31, while the Nasdaq Composite outperformed, adding 52.06 (1.29 percent) at 4,086.23. "People are feeling a little bit more comfortable taking a little more risk today," said Michael James of Wedbush Securities.

Bank of America's mortgage crisis costs become a recurring problem

By Peter Rudegeair (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp's <BAC.N> mortgage pain is lasting longer than expected, leading some investors to wonder if the massive expenses being incurred have become a recurring cost of doing business instead of being dismissed as one-time items. The bank on Wednesday posted $6 billion of litigation expenses for its first quarter, far exceeding the $3.7 billion of settlement costs that investors had previously known about.

Pensions for Detroit police, fire retirees safe while other retirees would see benefits cut

DETROIT - The Detroit pension fund that covers all retirees except former police officers and firefighters says it has reached a tentative agreement with the bankrupt city. Tina Bassett, a spokeswoman for the city's general pension fund, says retirees would see a 4.5 per cent cut and their cost-of-living payments would be eliminated under a deal reached late Tuesday. Hours earlier, a group representing retired police and firefighters announced that it had reached its own deal to preserve pension benefits but trim cost-of-living payments.

B.C.'s provincial auto insurer to pay back $39 million in overcharged fees

VANCOUVER - The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia says that it will be informing customers within the next 90 days whether they have been billed the wrong amount due to database errors. The Crown corporation says that over the last six years, approximately 240,000 optional insurance customers were overcharged and it will reinburse them. ICBC says the average overpayment was $21 each year per customer and estimates that it will be paying back $36 million plus an additional $3 million in interest.

BofA reports first quarterly loss since 2011 on lofty legal bill

By Peter Rudegeair and Tanya Agrawal (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp reported an unexpected first-quarter loss on Wednesday after it took a $6 billion charge to cover litigation expenses, a figure that far exceeded the legal settlements the No. 2 U.S. bank has announced recently. Revenue improved in many of the bank's major businesses, but the results were overshadowed by its bigger-than-expected legal costs. The bank had previously said that a settlement would cut into its earnings by $3.7 billion before taxes.

Latin America's growth prospects fizzle on local concerns

By Silvio Cascione BRASILIA (Reuters) - The next two years look more challenging for Latin American economies than previously thought, with prospects for slower growth and higher inflation defying recent market optimism about emerging markets. Prospects for economic growth in 2014 and 2015 were down across the board from a similar Reuters poll in January for all seven major Latin American countries except Colombia, according to the consensus view of over 50 economists polled.

Credit Suisse profits down 34 per cent as revenues fall at investment bank

FRANKFURT - Swiss bank Credit Suisse says its net profit fell 34 per cent in the first quarter, more than expected, as bond-market woes hurt earnings at its investment banking business. Profit dropped to 859 million Swiss francs ($979 million) from 1.303 billion francs in the same quarter a year ago. The figure was short of analyst estimates of 1.1 billion francs as compiled by financial information provider FactSet. Group core revenues fell 8 per cent to 6.469 billion francs ($7.375 billion).

Deutsche Bank denies report its CEOs' jobs are at risk

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> denied a media report that said its co-Chief Executives Anshu Jain and Juergen Fitschen could be replaced, possibly with former UBS <UBSN.VX> finance chief John Cryan. Germany's Manager Magazin on Wednesday cited "insiders" saying Deutsche Bank supervisory board chairman Paul Achleitner was preparing to bring in a new chief executive.

Europe's top banks shed 2 trillion euros as regulatory belt tightens

By Laura Noonan LONDON (Reuters) - Europe's top 30 banks cut assets by 2 trillion euros ($2.76 trillion) last year and are set to cut them again in 2014 as regulatory pressure prompts investment banks to shrink and retail banks sell some of their loans into a rising market.

CPP Investment board to sell Texas-based air system company for US$1.6 billion

TORONTO - The body that manages investments for the Canada Pension Plan has agreed to sell Air Distribution Technologies, Inc. to Johnson Controls in a deal valued at approximately US$1.6 billion. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board says it expects to receive about US$1 billion in proceeds from the sale of Air Distribution. The Dallas-based company makes air distribution and ventilation systems for buildings as well as controls for industrial and infrastructure applications. CPP Investment Board acquired Air Distribution in 2012 for US$1.1 billion from Tomkins.
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