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Mar 13, 2015

FTC Returns Money to Consumers Actions - March 13, 2015: FTC Returns More Than $2.9 Million to Inc21 Cramming Victims In Second Round of Refunds to Consumers.

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The Federal Trade Commission is mailing a second round of 58,239 checks totaling more than $2.9 million to consumers and businesses who were victimized by a massive fraudulent operation that placed unwanted charges on their telephone bills.

In 2010, the FTC stopped the scam, which was led by Inc21, an internet services company. Inc21 had third-party billing aggregators place charges on phone bills. In most cases, the victims were either never contacted by the company or deceived about why they were contacted, or denied the services for which they were billed. The FTC’s Criminal Liaison Unit cooperated with criminal law enforcement partners at the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and United States Postal Inspection Service, leading to the prosecution and conviction of Inc21’s owners.

CMI Spot Prices as of Close of Trading in New York on March 13, 2015.


CMI Gold & Sliver

Spot Prices as of close of trading in New York

Friday, March 13, 2015

GOLD

TODAYCHANGEWEEK AGOMONTH AGOYEAR AGO
$1,152.70+$0.10$1,164.70$1,227.50$1,379.70

SILVER

TODAYCHANGEWEEK AGOMONTH AGOYEAR AGO
$15.53-$0.03$15.85$17.33$21.43

PLATINUM

TODAYCHANGEWEEK AGOMONTH AGOYEAR AGO
$1,116.60-$0.40$1,161.00$1,209.60$1,472.90

PALLADIUM

TODAYCHANGEWEEK AGOMONTH AGOYEAR AGO
$790.75+$0.45$820.85$793.75$778.20

GOLD/SILVER RATIO

74.22

Bloomberg View | Share The View - March 13, 2015: What the Fed Will Do.


Bloomberg View
Share The View
THE LATEST OPINIONS FROM BLOOMBERG VIEW

MARCH 13, 2015bloombergview.com

BANKING
Mark Gilbert: "It's taking so long to reform what is clearly a bonkers system because governments quite like having captive buyers for their debt, even if it makes the world a riskier place. But with the euro bloc's hopes riding on QE goosing the economy, this might be an unmissable opportunity for reform." Read more...

CURRENCY
Justin Fox: "When there's a significant currency move like the dollar's rise against the euro over the past couple of weeks, it tends to be discussed in near-apocalyptic language. We are witnessing the euro's 'collapse,' or maybe its 'demise,' at the hands of a 'rampant U.S. dollar,' to borrow the words of one especially dramatic currency analyst. Demise? Really?" Read more...

DECLASSIFIED
Josh Rogin and Eli Lake: "The war against Islamic State has killed thousands of fighters and even some mid-level battlefield commanders, but the organization's senior leadership and nerve center remain largely untouched, according to U.S. military and intelligence officials." Read more...

FEDERAL RESERVE
Mohamed A. El-Erian: "After reacting this week to the beginning of the European Central Bank's quantitative easing program, markets are shifting their attention to the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Yet unlike the ECB's QE program that is bolstering both stock and bond prices in Europe, the Fed isn't likely to send a clear signal." Read more...

European Markets at Close Report on March 13, 2015: European stocks mark sixth weekly win.| MarketWatch

European stocks mark sixth weekly win

By

CARLA
MOZEE

MARKETS REPORTER

LONDON (MarketWatch) — European stocks scored a win Friday, aided by another record high for German shares and a multiyear high for French equities.
The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.32%  rose 0.3% to 396.61, with advances for the technology sector and the consumer goods group, which includes auto makers and components producers. Shares in that sector have enjoyed recent gains as a slide in the euro against the dollar EURUSD, -1.46%  boosted exporters.
Exporters have also helped Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.87% shine this year. Friday’s jump of 0.9% to 11,901.61 marked the index’s strongest close on record. Advancers on Friday were led by a 2.8% rise for car maker Volkswagen AG VOW3, +2.05%  as well as a 5.1% jump for Commerzbank AG CBK, +4.38% The bank on Thursdayagreed to pay $1.7 billion to settle U.S. claims that it violated sanctions and anti-money laundering laws.
The DAX finished the week higher by 3%, and its nine-week winning streak is the longest since late 2013, according to FactSet data. The DAX is now up 21.4% this year.
Also a benefit for the DAX is that it’s not heavily weighed by energy shares, unlike the U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, -0.30% The British benchmark on Friday fell 0.3% to 6,740.58, led by energy stocks as crude-oil prices CLJ5, -4.29%  were hit after the International Energy Agency said that “[b]ehind the facade of stability”, oil prices remain fragile.
The Stoxx 600’s oil and gas group SXEP, -2.49% fell 2.5%.
But French stocks also marked a milestone Friday. France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.46% finished up 0.5% at 5,010.46, its first close above 5,000 since May 2008.
The Stoxx 600 rose 0.6% for the week. The benchmark has risen for six straight weeks, leaving the index up 15.8% year-to-date.
Greece: The Athex Composite GD, -3.01% dropped 3% to 770.14, in part as shares of Piraeus Bank TPEIR, -8.97%  sank 8.9%. The Athex marked a weekly drop of 9.4%, the sharpest such decline since late January.
On Friday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras met in Brussels to discuss Greece’s debt troubles. Ahead of the meeting, Juncker said progress in resolving the debt crisis has been moving too slowly since Greece last month was granted a tentative extension of its bailout program.
Meanwhile, German officials said while Germany wants Greece to remain in the eurozone, it’s up to Athens to enact reforms for the Greek economy. On Thursday evening, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said an unplanned Greek exit from the eurozone is possible.
Russia: Russia’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to 14% from 15%, meeting expectations, and said the “balance of risks is still shifted towards a more significant cooling of the economy.”
The move highlights the “commitment of the central bank to put the economy back where it was,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a note Friday.
“Nevertheless, geopolitical tensions remain a major hurdle and as long as we do not see de-escalation of these tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the selling pressure will remain on the Russian ruble,” he said.
The ruble USDRUB, +1.58%  had eased against the dollar after the rate cut, but recovered, leaving the greenback to buy 61.756 rubles, up from 61.336 late on Thursday. The Micex stock index XX:MCX  fell 2.2% to 1,627.88, and ended the week with a 5.8% decline.

ESA New Report - March 13, 2015:: " The importance of Data Occupations on the U.S. Economy."


Washington, D.C. – March 13, 2015 – The Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) released a new report today, entitled "The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy," that explores the importance of data jobs and their impact on the U.S. economy.

03/13/2015 09:45 AM EDT.

Today's Early in the Morning Selected News on March 13, 2015 NYT Today's Headlines | WP Today's Headlies, Asian Markets at Close | CNBC U.S. Stock Market Indications

Today's Early in the Morning Selected News




Top News
Shiite fighters near a suicide bomb attack Thursday on the southern edge of Tikrit, site of an offensive by Iraqi government forces.
A Balancing Act as Iraq Claims Gains in Tikrit

By ANNE BARNARD

A major step for the Iraqi government in fighting ISIS came with Shiite militias and Iranian military officials in a leading role, which has American officials worried.
Police officers examined the scene outside the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday morning.
Just as Ferguson Was Making Progress, Shooting Deals a Setback

By JOHN ELIGON and ELI YOKLEY

Ferguson had seemed to be moving past the stunning abuses detailed by the Justice Department, but four gunshots Thursday morning threatened to reopen the well of anger, unrest and racial tension.
Multimedia Feature MULTIMEDIA FEATURE: Netanyahu and the Settlements

By JODI RUDOREN and JEREMY ASHKENAS

The Israeli leader's settlement policy resembles his predecessors', but it is a march toward permanence at a time when prospects for peace are few.

Editors' Picks
Michael Graves in 1999, with his Target designs. He was one of the New York Five, and designed more than 350 buildings.

ARTS

Michael Graves, Postmodernist Architect Who Designed Towers and Teakettles, Dies at 80

By ROBIN POGREBIN

Mr. Graves, one of the most prominent and prolific American architects of the latter 20th century, was perhaps best known for his teakettle and pepper mill.

OPINION | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The Southwestern Water Wars

By RICHARD PARKER

Droughts are driving up tension between urban and rural residents.

QUOTATION OF THE DAY

"This was not someone trying to bring healing to Ferguson. This was a damn punk, a punk who was trying to sow discord."
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC H. HOLDER JR., after two police officers were injured during a protest in Ferguson, Mo.
Today's Video
Video VIDEO: This Week's Movies: March 13 2015
The New York Times film critics review "Cinderella," "Going Clear" and "Seymour: An Introduction."
. Related Review: 'Cinderella'
. Related Review: 'Going Clear'
. Related Review: 'Seymour: An Introduction'
Video VIDEO: Anatomy of a Scene | 'Cinderella'
Kenneth Branagh narrates a sequence from the film.
. Related Review: 'Cinderella'
Video VIDEO: Tales From the World's Longest Yard Sale
Travel down US Highway 127 from Michigan to Alabama and meet the people at the world's longest yard sale - an annual four-day, 690-mile exchange of not only goods, but also stories.
For more video, go to NYTimes.com/Video »
ADVERTISEMENT
World
A burial team unloading bodies at a crematorium in Monrovia, Liberia. Because of Ebola, many people accustomed to sprucing up relatives' graves on a memorial holiday had nowhere to visit.

MONROVIA JOURNAL

Ebola, Thief of Rituals, Leaves No Graves to Decorate

By CLAIR MacDOUGALL

Decoration Day is for sprucing up burial sites and celebrating life, but after 3,000 bodies were cremated because of the Ebola outbreak,Wednesday's holiday was a somber affair.
Mercenaries Join Nigeria's Military Campaign Against Boko Haram

By ADAM NOSSITER

A foreign force that includes hundreds of South Africans is now fighting the Islamist group, officials said. Separately, the Islamic State accepted Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance.
Syrian Kurdish refugees seeking shelter last fall in Turkey. Aid agencies trying to help Syrians say they continue to be stymied in their efforts. 
United Nations' Reputation Slips as Four-Year War in Syria Drags On

By SOMINI SENGUPTA

The U.N. has been unable to offer a path out of a war that has left an estimated 220,000 dead, given rise to vicious jihadists and spread havoc across the region.
For more world news, go to NYTimes.com/World »
U.S.
Jurors Hear Harrowing Account of Boston Bombers' Hostage

By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.

The demise of the Tsarnaev brothers, testimony in Federal District Court in Boston indicated, was hastened by the quick, composed and methodical thinking of the man they took hostage.
Starving Sea Lions Washing Ashore by the Hundreds in California

By JACK HEALY

Animal rescuers are reporting five times more sea lion rescues than normal. Experts suspect unusually warm waters are driving mothers away to look for food, leaving pups to swim from home.
A depiction of aurora on Ganymede, as it orbits Jupiter. Observations of the aurora suggest the moon has an ocean under ice.
Suddenly, It Seems, Water Is Everywhere in Solar System

By KENNETH CHANG

Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, appears to have a roiling ocean with hydrothermal vents, while Ganymede, orbiting Jupiter, may have an ocean under ice, researchers report in two new papers.
For more U.S. news, go to NYTimes.com/US »
Politics
Secret Service Agents Said to Have Driven Into Police Investigation Before Crash

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and ASHLEY PARKER

Surveillance footage showed two Secret Service agents ignored a cordon set up around a suspicious package, people briefed on the investigation said.
Hillary Rodham Clinton checking her BlackBerry in 2011. Historians have lamented the loss of Mrs. Clinton's personal emails during a period of family drama.
Awash in Information, Historians Fear Loss of Rich Material

By SCOTT SHANE

Hillary Rodham Clinton's decision to delete thousands of personal emails has fueled broader concerns that invaluable historical details are being lost.
. Cuomo's Rule on Purging State Email Roils Albany
Laura Donohoe defended Hillary Rodham Clinton as she had lunch with her husband, Ronan, at Café Espresso on Thursday.
In New Hampshire, Clinton Backers Buckle Up

By PATRICK HEALY

At Café Espresso, the diner where Hillary Rodham Clinton's eyes welled up with tears the day before the 2008 primary, women said they were buckling up for a bumpy ride with Mrs. Clinton into 2016, but certainly not backing away.
For more political news, go to NYTimes.com/Politics »
Business
A bKash agent in rural Bangladesh. The Gates foundation invested $11 million in bKash, which lets users turn a basic mobile phone into a means of storing and transferring money.
From the Gates Foundation, Direct Investment, Not Just Grants

By SARAH MAX

The philanthropic giant is deploying funds and influence into for-profit companies with bright ideas, instead of focusing only on grants to nonprofits.
Janet L. Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, before testifying at a Senate panel hearing last month. 

COMMON SENSE

Wondering What the Fed's Statements Mean? Be Patient

By JAMES B. STEWART

Ten years after Ben Bernanke proclaimed the end of "Fedspeak," the Federal Reserve, try as it might, still seems to be speaking in ambiguities.
Harper Lee in 2010. The State of Alabama is investigating a report of potential elder abuse.
One Agency in Harper Lee Inquiry Ends Its Role, Saying Author Is 'Aware' of Book Deal

By SERGE F. KOVALESKI

Investigators interviewed Ms. Lee and found "she has opinions and seems to be aware of what is going on with her book and the book deal," a regulator said.
For more business news, go to NYTimes.com/Business »
Technology
The Snapchat logo above Times Square. The Alibaba investment was said to bring the company's valuation to $15 billion.
Alibaba Is Said to Invest $200 Million in Snapchat

By MIKE ISAAC and MICHAEL J. de la MERCED

The latest fund-raising places the messaging start-up squarely among the most richly valued private tech companies in Silicon Valley.
One of the documents filed in a suit against Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, asks the court for permission to get details about his personal finances and net worth.

BITS BLOG

Zuckerberg Lawsuit Documents Show Animosity With Would-Be Neighbor

By MATT RICHTEL

Documents filed Wednesday accuse the Facebook chief executive of reneging on a promise to introduce a would-be neighbor to powerful Silicon Valley friends.
The new LeapFrog 31500 Pro. The first LeapPad, an electronic book with audio and pen that helped children learn to read, was introduced in 1999.
Once Unique, LeapFrog Has Rivals in the Educational Toy Market

By RACHEL ABRAMS

LeapFrog, a dominant maker of educational toys and games, has watched its sales plummet because of cheaper alternatives.
For more technology news, go to NYTimes.com/Technology »
Sports

The Marquette men's basketball team practiced this week at Baruch College.
At Baruch, a New York Rental to the Stars, the Wood Floors Tend to Squeak

By SETH BERKMAN

Over the past decade, Baruch has established itself as host to the basketball stars, lending its court to more than 60 N.B.A. and N.C.A.A. Division I teams passing through New York City.
Serena Williams at a news conference for the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Thursday in Indian Wells, Calif. Williams had boycotted the tournament for 14 years.

SPORTS OF THE TIMES

Serena Williams Strikes the Right Note in a Time of Turmoil

By WILLIAM C. RHODEN

The Williams family vowed never to return to Indian Wells after Serena was booed without mercy during the championship match in 2001.
________________________________________________________________________________

Asian markets at Close Report on March 13, 2015
By

LAURA
HE

ASIA MARKETS REPORTER
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japanese stocks extended their advance on Friday, closing above the 19,000 mark for the first time in 15 years.
The Nikkei Average NIK, +1.39%  rose 1.4% to 19,254.25, scoring its first finish above 19,000 since April 2000. The index has gained for a third day in a row. The broader Topix I0000, +0.89%  also added 0.9%.
The yen USDJPY, -0.04% softened against the dollar to ¥121.33 from ¥121.09 at the previous Tokyo stock close.
Helping lift the markets was a 13% surge in index heavyweight Fanuc Corp.6954, +13.21% after a Nikkei report said the industrial-robot manufacturer planned to boost its shareholder returns.
Shares of several major tech exporters also advanced, as semiconductor maker Tokyo Electron Ltd. 8035, +1.76% surged 1.8%, and both electronics giant Hitachi Ltd. 6501, +1.74%  and console maker Nintendo Co. Ltd. 7974, +1.71%  each rose 1.7%.
Meanwhile, most other Asian markets posted gains.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.11% inched up 0.1%, mainland China’s Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, +0.70%   improved by 0.7%, and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index SEU, +0.77% tacked on 0.8%.
However, Australian shares pulled back, with S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -0.61%  down 0.6%
________________________________________________________________________



Compiled by
Matthew J. Belvedere and Peter Schacknow


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IN THE NEWS TODAY
U.S. stock futures were searching for direction in early trading, after theDowS&P 500, and Nasdaq managed to erase a good chunk of Tuesday'ssizable losses with a Thursday rally. (CNBC)
The euro was back on the defensive this morning, after a rebound the day before that had lifted the currency above this week's 12-year lows against the dollar. (Reuters)

Oil prices might have only stabilized temporarily because the global crude glut is worsening and U.S. production shows no sign of slowing, said the International Energy Agency. (Reuters)

Federal prosecutors and the FBI are investigating potential manipulation ofHerbalife (HLF) stock-interviewing people hired by hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, who has campaigned against company. (WSJ)

Bill Ackman's comments about nutritional supplement company Herbalife do not appear to add up to market manipulation, former federal prosecutorJacob Frenkel told CNBC.

Pershing Square Capital Management's Bill Ackman joins CNBC's "Squawk Box" at 8 a.m. ET to address this latest twist in the Herbalife saga.

Excerpts from a new book on Steve Jobs reveal that current Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook discovered he could help improve the health of his then-boss by donating part of his liver. Jobs refused. (USA Today)

General Motors (GM) is recalling about 64,000 Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric cars for a software update to prevent carbon monoxide build-up when a driver forgets to shut off the vehicle. (Automotive News)

Walt Disney (DIS) has started work on a sequel to "Frozen," the biggest animated movie of all time, and a global merchandising phenomenon that helped push the media giant to record profits. (Reuters)

Russia's central bank today cut its main interest rate again-by 1 percentage point to 14 percent-in a further effort to stimulate the country's sanctions-hit economy. (CNBC)

Japanese stocks tracked a positive lead from Wall Street, with the Nikkei average breaching the 19,000 levelthe highest level since June 2000. (CNBC)

Celebrated architect Michael Graves, who created whimsical postmodern structures and became well known for his product designs later in life, has died. He was 80. (USA Today)

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