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    The Federal Reserve will have a "strong" case to hike U.S. interest rates in June, a hawkish Fed official said on Tuesday, dismissing recently weak economic data as transitory and perhaps due to unseasonable weather.

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    Critical intelligence before the market opens. The blue chips have been a bit more volatile than usual this month. In fact, if we see triple-digit action today, it will mean the Dow has turned in a move in excess of 100 points 16 times in March.

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    Updated from 7:05 a.m. EDT. Here are 10 things you should know for Tuesday, March 31: 1. -- U.S. stock futures were drooping Tuesday on the last day of the first quarter. European stocks lacked direction Tuesday, as weakness in Asia and worries over Greece and deflation seemed to weigh on sentiment even as the economy in Germany showed continued strength.

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    Plus: The job strategies that work and don't work. The U.S. job market is on the mend but boomer workers are probably being left behind. Workers aged 45 to 70 who lose a job face steep challenges in finding new work-- and even when they do find a job, it's often at lower pay and with fewer benefits than they enjoyed before, according to a new survey by AARP, published Monday.

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    International donors have pledged $3.8 billion to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Syria, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at a summit in the Kuwaiti capital on Tuesday.

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    U.S. small businesses took out fewer loans last month but borrowing was up from a year ago as firms ramped up investments in their operations, according to data released on Tuesday. The Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index fell to 119.2 last month from 122.4 in January. The index gauges borrowing by firms with $1 million or less in outstanding debt.

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    Banks, utilities and gaming stocks could be hit hard after election. LONDON-- The U.K. general election is turning into a thriller for politicians and stock investors alike, as the lack of a clear favorite makes it trickier to take a position. With May 7 approaching fast, polls reflect a neck-and-neck race between the Conservative Party, which leads the ruling coalition government in partnership with the Liberal Democrats, and the Labour Party, creating lots of anxiety about the...

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    The demise of the housing recovery has been greatly exaggerated. Despite the fact that bond yields--and, therefore, mortgage rates--did precisely the opposite of what Wall Street expected in 2014 by staying low, the pace of home-price appreciation slowed. The year-over-year change in the S&P/Case- Shiller 20 City Composite index has fallen sharply to 4.5% last December from 13.8% in November 2013..

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    A top U.S. Federal Reserve official on Monday suggested stress tests and certain capital requirements to contain the risks within the non-bank lending sector, while acknowledging there is little the central bank can do to impose such restrictions.

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    Just a few months ago, Beijing's plan to build a rival to the World Bank looked like something of a quixotic mission. With the initial deadline to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank fast approaching, only a few countries had pledged their support.

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    A top U.S. Federal Reserve official on Monday said the Bank of England has a good way of handling financial stability concerns with a separate council and the Fed is leaning toward a similar approach. "I think the Bank of England has a particularly good way of doing it," said Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, referring to the BoE's financial stability council.

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    A top U.S. Federal Reserve official on Monday suggested stress tests and certain capital requirements to contain the risks within the non-bank lending sector, while acknowledging there is little the central bank can do to impose such restrictions.

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    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday sent the military's annual "wish lists" to U.S. lawmakers, including 12 Boeing Co F/A-18 fighter jets and 14 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but said he would not back any of the requests unless Congress passed a larger overall defense budget.

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    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday sent the military's annual "wish lists" to U.S. lawmakers, including 12 Boeing Co F/A-18 fighter jets and 14 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but said he would not back any of the requests unless Congress passed a larger overall defense budget.

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    WASHINGTON-- Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen last week took a new argument for low rate policy for a spin, but a leading monetary policy academic thinks her theory isn't ready for prime time. The debate is pretty "textbook-y" to use a phase from former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's new blog, but it does have a lot to do with the central question of how high and fast the Fed will raise interest rates in this cycle. For decades, the Fed has used a simple monetary policy rule, design by...

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    Shanna Tippen was another hourly worker at the bottom of the nation’ s economy, looking forward to a 25 cent bump in the Arkansas minimum wage that would make it easier for her to buy diapers for her grandson. In this case, writing about Tippen’ s plight may have made her situation worse.Tippen says she was fired by her boss, hotel manager Herry Patel.

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    In America, you don't hunt for the job, the job hunts for you. A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco said that most people who get a new job weren't seeking it. Instead, recruitment and referrals form the basis of the bulk of new hiring.

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    * Longer-dated Treasuries decline in price. * China signals stimuli for economy. * Wall St, European, and Asian stocks rise. * Shorter Treasuries little changed. By Michael Connor. U.S. Treasury debt prices were mostly little changed on Monday, with longer-dated maturities giving back some gains from last week, as equity markets rose on signs China was moving to bolster its massive economy.

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    By Myra P. Saefong and Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch, Biman Mukherji. SAN FRANCISCO-- Oil futures fell on Monday, pressured by expectations that talks over Iran's nuclear program could result in an easing of sanctions against the crude exporter. Prices also headed lower as the turmoil in Yemen looked unlikely to disrupt oil transport in the region.

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    Consumer spending is often called an engine of the United States economy. The government reported Monday that personal consumption expenditures -- aka consumer spending -- rose just 0.1% in February. It comes at a time when people actually do have a little bit more money to spend.