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    WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama paid $98,169 in taxes on adjusted gross income of $481,098, the White House said Friday. Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Jill Biden paid $96,378 on adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Obamas donated $59,251 to charity and the Bidens contributed $20,523, the White House said. (END) Dow Jones Newswires 04-11-14 1449 ET Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones& Company, Inc..

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    By Myra P. Saefong and William L. Watts, MarketWatch. SAN FRANCISCO-- Gold futures closed with a modest loss on Friday, on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar and upbeat economic data, but prices still scored a gain on the week as investors remained wary of sharp losses on Wall Street. Palladium futures, meanwhile, were a standout on Comex, with prices climbing to their highest close in more than two years on growing concerns over Russian supplies.

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    The number of people applying for new unemployment benefits has fallen to the lowest level since mid-2007, shortly before the Great Recession began. Jobless claims dropped to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 in the seven days ended April 5. The last time claims were that low was in the week of May 12, 2007, when they totaled 297,000.. But that doesn't mean the U.S. economy now is anything like the economy back then.

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    Most people think inflation is bad on its face. Our central bank's policy is to goose asset prices, thus getting the sluggish economy finally moving, but that kind of precision is a tall order and there are other factors in inflation -- such as the weather distortions this year, which created more than just travel and meeting interruptions.

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    The U.K. economy is on the up. The International Monetary Fund this week boosted its growth forecast for 2014 to 2.9%, putting the U.K. in pole position among the G-7 economies. But one engine of growth is conspicuous by its absence: trade.

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    Morgan Chase& Co. and Wells Fargo& Co. reported earnings today, but you may want to steer clear of the Wall Street titans and consider buying shares of tiny banks in Hawaii, Texas and West Virginia. Largely unknown regional banks have been outperforming their bigger brethren, powered by acquisitions, a stream of deposits and higher-quality loans while avoiding the harsh regulations and scrutiny that's burdening the investment banks. Limp trading revenue has been the theme...

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    WASHINGTON-- A gauge of consumer sentiment is the highest in nine months, with sunnier views on both current and upcoming economic conditions, according to data released Friday. Stocks after the sentiment data. Markets watch sentiment levels to get a feeling for the direction of consumer spending.

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    WASHINGTON-- Consumer sentiment rose to a preliminary April reading of 82.6-- the highest reading since July-- from a final March level of 80, according to a Friday report on a gauge from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a preliminary April level of 80.8. Economists watch sentiment levels to get a feeling for the direction of consumer spending.

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    WASHINGTON-- U.S. producer prices rose in March at the fastest rate in nine months, owing largely to higher costs experienced by clothing retailers, grocers and wholesalers of chemical goods, the government said Friday. The producer price index advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.5% after falling slightly in February, the Labor Department said. That's the largest increase since last June and surpassed the 0.1% estimate of economists polled by MarketWatch.

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    WASHINGTON-- Major economies of the world cannot rest on their laurels even though the global economy is expected to strengthen this year, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Friday. "This is no time for complacency, and we must not succumb to accepting subpar growth and high unemployment rates," Lew said in a speech at the International Monetary Fund spring meeting. Lew said the Obama administration was "deeply disappointed" that Congress failed to pass IMF reforms, but said he saw...

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    U.S. consumer sentiment rose in April to its highest in nine months as both current conditions and expectations brightened, a survey released on Friday showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary April reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment came in at 82.6, the highest since July, compared with the final reading of 80.0 in March.

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    WASHINGTON-- Economists expect that a gauge of consumer sentiment ticked up to a preliminary April reading of 80.8 from a final March level of 80, according to a MarketWatch survey. The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer-sentiment index fell in March to the lowest level in four months, led by gloomier expectations. The sentiment report will be released at 9:55 a.m. Eastern.

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    Investors are no longer seeing the world through rose-colored 3D glasses. Some investors said that the chart indicated 3D Systems (DDD) could continue to fall as low as $37 per share. $DDD completion of a H&S would be at $37 area I think. 3D suffers from a broad problem impacting all disruptive technology stocks: investors no longer believe that the growth story was much more than hype.

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    * Producer prices rise 0.5 percent, largest gain since June. * Core PPI up 0.6 percent, biggest rise in three years. * Consumer sentiment hits nine-month high in April. By Lucia Mutikani. U.S. producer prices recorded their largest increase in nine months in March, but that jump will probably not ignite inflation pressures as economic growth remains moderate.

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    The U.S. March US producer price index was worse than expected but we doubt it represents the start of a surge in inflation because pipeline pressures are absent and because some costs should reverse. March final demand PPI was +0.5% for +1.4% over the year, and core was +0.6% for a similar +1.4% pace over the year.

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    WASHINGTON- U.S. wholesale prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in March, mainly because of higher costs for service providers such as food and clothing retailers, the Labor Department reported Friday. The price of wholesale services jumped 0.7% last month, while the cost of goods were flat. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a 0.1% gain in the PPI.

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    NEW YORK-- Treasury prices cut gains Friday after a stronger-than-expected reading on wholesale prices, but the 30- year bond yield remained at its lowest level since last July. The, compared with economist expectations of a 0.1% gain. After the data, the 30- year bond yield, which falls as prices rise, was down 2 basis points at 3.485%, the lowest since July 2 on a closing basis.

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    U.S. producer prices recorded their largest increase in nine months in March, but that jump will probably not ignite inflation pressures as economic growth remains moderate. The Labor Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index for final demand increased 0.5 percent last month, after slipping 0.1 percent in February. "Will inflation accelerate?