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Top 4 Business Stories of the Day

U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, putting the S&P 500 within striking distance of record levels, though geopolitical concerns in the Ukraine could cap gains. S&P 500 futures rose 7.6 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 54 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 20 points. Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street, sending major indexes to their latest all-time highs. Pinnacle Foods surged 15 percent after the company agreed to be acquired by Hillshire Brands. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 99 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,680 in the first few minutes of trading Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,890. The Nasdaq composite rose 40 points, or 1 percent, to 4,114. Bond prices fell. The French economy will grow by just 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014, the central bank forecast on Monday, as company morale faltered despite a pro-business push by the Socialist government seeking to tame unemployment and cut the deficit. The Bank of France estimated that the euro zone's second-biggest economy would also grow 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year, half the euro zone average according to a Reuters poll of economists. Germany is forecast to grow 0.7 percent. Inmarsat, the firm whose satellites helped track the final route of missing Malaysian Airlines airliner MH370, confirmed that it would offer a free, basic tracking service to passenger airlines globally. The company said on Monday that the service would be offered to all 11,000 commercial passenger aircraft which are already equipped with Inmarsat satellite connection, comprising virtually 100 percent of the world's long haul commercial fleet. The company said last week that it would make available free data transfers for a position reporting service.

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