All the Top Market-Moving Stories of the Week You Must Know Now

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s top stories:

Monday

The U.S. equity markets overcame early losses on Monday to close on a higher note across the board, despite looming concerns about the sequester.

At the close: DJIA: +0.27 percent, S&P 500: +0.46 percent, NASDAQ: +0.39 percent.

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On the commodities front, WTI crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO) failed to recover alongside equities, and edged lower to close at $90.46 per barrel. Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, edged 10 cents higher to settle at $1,572.40 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May traded flat at $28.50.

The two precious metals remain stuck in consolidation mode, despite central banks sticking to their loose monetary policies. The incoming officials at the Bank of Japan are reiterating calls for the central bank to fight deflation more.

Kikuo Iwata, one of the nominees for a governor post, claims, “It’s monetary policy alone that will be able to alter deflationary expectations. Firms won’t spend their money as they are awash with cash on hand as long as deflation persists. But firms will start using their cash when inflation expectations emerge.”

Meanwhile, governor nominee Haruhiko Kuroda says, “If I were appointed as governor, I would do everything possible to get out of deflation.”

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Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:Investors

Transocean (NYSE:RIG) opened about 4 percent higher on Monday after the company reported that its board had recommended that shareholders approve a dividend at the upcoming Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. The board has recommended a payment of $2.24 per share, which will amount to a total payout of about $800 million. The board’s decision was in no small way influenced by the presence of activist-investor Carl Icahn, who recently increased his stake on the offshore drilling contractor to 5.6 percent. Shares simmered down to close flat… (Read more.)

Four years ago, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) opened an online market model (in addition to the existing Wal-Mart website) not unlike Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Marketplace in an effort to compete directly with the world’s largest web retailer. The program follows a similar model, with third-party merchants selling products through Wal-Mart’s online portal. Since then, Wal-Mart has signed six independent merchants to its service, more than a tad shy of Amazon’s two million and counting… (Read more.)

The good news is stacking up, as the airline industry. Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL),and United Continental Holdings (NYSE:UAL) issued reports today saying that they met their goals for the month of February, joining the housing market and auto industry in a successful beginning to 2013. Delta climbed 5.6 percent on Monday, while United climbed 5.3 percent… (Read more.)

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A small note in Las Vegas Sands’ (NYSE:LVS) annual 10-K filing — submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday — prompted a flurry of reports suggesting that the casino operator had violated anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The allegations were rooted in the language used by the document, which stated that there were “likely violations” in book keeping and internal controls revealed in an audit. However, in a press release issued on Sunday, the company fought back, and explained that the violations were related to minor errors such as incorrectly recorded transactions or other basic accounting errors, and did not evidence bribery… (Read more.)

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) climbed 3.5 percent on Monday following an upgrade from analysts at Barclays. Following six months of strong gains, the news helped bump the stock as high as $22.62, setting a fresh 52-week and post-recession high… (Read more.)

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) fell 2.4 percent to $420.05, which represent a new 52-week closing price for the stock that had touched the $700 mark less than six months ago. It was just another day in a string of negatives the iPhone maker has dealt with in the past few months. Here’s a cheat sheet to the top stories about the stock … (Read more.)

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In late February, the Federal Open Market Committee revealed several members want the Federal Reserve to prepare for a day when it does not have to keep the economy afloat with the current quantitative easing programs. “Several participants emphasized that the Committee should be prepared to vary the pace of asset purchases, either in response to changes in the economic outlook or as its evaluation of the efficacy and costs of such purchases evolved,” the minutes read… (Read more.)

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