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Top 4 Business Stories of the Day

U.S. stock investors can expect another wild ride this coming week as almost one third of S&P 500 companies report earnings. Firms delivering results include Apple, Microsoft, General Motors, McDonald’s and Boeing. Wednesday could bring the big corporate news of the week, with both Apple and Facebook reporting earnings after markets close in New York. With Apple, investors will watch closely for any hints of new products or services or any updates on dividends and stock buybacks amid continued pressure for it to return more of its massive cash hoard to its owners. With Facebook, investors hope to get some updates on the company’s plans following recent acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus VR. Barclays is planning to withdraw from parts of the metals, agricultural and energy markets, echoing moves by other major players like JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley away from the commodities business, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. The UK bank is expected to announce the changes on Tuesday, which include heavy cuts to its global commodities trading staff. Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins has undertaken a third review of the investment bank in as many years in response to pressure to cut costs and improve returns, which lag other parts of the business such as Barclaycard. General Mills is scrapping a controversial plan to strip consumers of their right to sue the food company. The company, which owns Cheerios, Progresso and Yoplait, had posted a notice on its website notifying visitors that using the company's websites or engaging with it online in a variety of other ways meant they would have to give up their right to sue. The Minnesota-based company said that people instead would have to resolve disputes through informal negotiation or arbitration. The change was widely denounced on social media after The New York Times first reported it Wednesday. Brazil’s Federal Police have opened an investigation into former Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista for financial crimes, including insider trading, manipulation of markets and money laundering. At one time the world’s 7th richest person, Batista lost his billionaire status earlier last year after the collapse of his once high-flying oil, mining and logistics empire, which two years ago was valued at over $60 billion and has since accumulated a mountain of debt. Just before buying shares of OGX, Major League baseball great Alex Rodriguez called his financial advisor. Says Rodriguez “He told me to forget about it and never mention it again, because I could go to jail for a transaction like this.”

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