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A third day of gains...Fed: Economy activity picking up...Ukraine turmoil hurting Russian economy

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NEW YORK (AP) — Solid earnings reports and a smaller-than-feared slowdown in China's growth are pushing U.S. stocks higher for a third day in a row. The S&P 500 was has been fluctuating anywhere from 10 to 13 points higher in afternoon trading, while the Dow has been up more than 100 points, and the Nasdaq composite has been up between 25 and 30 points.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve's latest survey of business conditions shows economic growth picking up across most of the United States over the past two months as bitter winter weather subsided. The Beige Book survey finds "modest or moderate" economic improvement in 10 of the Fed's 12 regions. Only Cleveland and St. Louis report slower growth. In March and early April, consumers took advantage of better weather to go shopping, manufacturing expanded in most areas and ports and highways were busier.

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says the U.S. job market still needs the Fed's help and the central bank must remain intent on adjusting its policy to respond to unforeseen challenges. Speaking at the Economic Club of New York, Yellen sought to explain the Fed's shifting guidance on its interest-rate policy, which at times has confused or jarred investors. She says the Fed's policies "must respond to significant unexpected twist and turns the economy may make."

MOSCOW (AP) — The turmoil in Ukraine is having a negative impact on Russia's economy. The country's economy minister says growth slowed to 0.8 percent in the first quarter, far below the 2.5 percent growth that had been predicted. He tells parliament "the acute international situation of the past two months" and "serious capital flight" are to blame. More capital left the country in the first three months of 2014 than in all of 2013.

NEW YORK (AP) — Ford is building a limited-edition Mustang GT to honor the pony car's 50th anniversary. Buyers can choose a manual or automatic transmission but only two colors: the white or blue of Ford's logo. There are special chrome highlights around the grille, windows and tail lights and a faux gas cap badge on the rear, where the original cap sat. Ford hasn't announced a price, but it's only building 1,964 special cars, to mark the year the Mustang first went on sale.

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