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TODAY'S TOP STORIES

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wallstreet-111614_05Mar15.jpg After moving mostly lower over the course of the two previous sessions, stocks have moved back to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major averages have all climbed into positive territory but remain well off Monday's highs.

EA-SimCity-030515.jpg Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. has shut down Maxis Emeryville, the Maxis studio behind videogames such as SimCity and Spore. Electronic Arts said that the changes will not impact its plans for the Sims, adding that the first expansion pack for the Sims 4 will come soon, with additional updates and content in the pipeline.

NobleGroup-030515.jpg Singapore-listed Commodity trading house Noble Group Ltd. said Thursday that its former CEO Ricardo Leiman should not be given his 2011 compensation as he had pursued discussions with Brazilian bank BTG Pactual to set up a rival business immediately after leaving the company.

manufacturing-030411_05Mar15.jpg New orders for U.S. manufactured goods unexpectedly saw a modest decrease in the month of January, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday. The report said factory orders edged down by 0.2 percent in January.

Draghi-030515.jpg The European Central Bank will commence its bond purchases under an historic $1.1 trillion quantitative easing plan next week and expects the impact from it stimulus measures to return inflation to the euro area next year.

Kroger-030515.jpg Kroger Co. on Thursday reported a 23 percent increase in profit for the fourth quarter from last year, as the grocery chain operator's results continued to benefit from its acquisition of Harris Teeter Supermarkets and an increase in fuel margins. Both revenue and adjusted earnings per share beat analysts' expectations. The company also forecast fiscal 2015 earnings above Street estimates.

kenya-030515.jpg The Kenyan economy is set on a course for sustained growth in the years ahead, amid the falling oil prices and its 'accommodative monetary policy' to make it one of the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a report published by the World Bank.

NonFarmProductivity-030515.jpg With output rising by less than previously estimated, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing that U.S. labor productivity in the fourth quarter fell by more than initially reported.

lumber-030515.jpg Trouble is piling up for Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. from different quarters, with a U.S. Senator calling for a federal probe into the specialty retailer of hardwood flooring, while two law firms said they have filed a class action lawsuit against the company for selling Chinese-made laminated wood floors containing dangerous levels of toxic formaldehyde.

JOblessClaims-030515.jpg In a somewhat troubling sign for the labor market ahead of tomorrow's monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended February 28th.

Pharmacyclics-030515.jpg It's a gain of over 6,000% for investors who bought shares of Pharmacyclics Inc. (PCYC) back in February 2010 and held them all these years - a handsome reward for long-term investors.

Continental-030515.jpg German automotive supplier Continental AG said its annual profit increased nearly 24 percent from the previous year, as sales improved in spite of adverse impact from currency. Further, the company lifted its sales forecast for the year.

wallstreet-112014_05Mar15.jpg Stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Thursday, regaining some ground after closing lower in the two previous sessions. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 37 points.

Compsales-030515.jpg A sampling of U.S. apparel retailers on Thursday revealed soft sales in February as the harsh winter weather likely dampened spring apparel sales and continued to keep customers away from stores, but not as much compared to last year's severe weather events. Sales during the month were some what aided by Valentine's Day and Presidents Day sales promotions.

ECB-030515.jpg The European Central Bank on Thursday held its key interest rates unchanged at a record low for a fifth successive month as markets await the bank's President Mario Draghi to reveal the details of the historic $1.1 trillion quantitative easing announced in January.

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