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Stocks drift...Fed statement today...Chinese regulators critical of Alibaba



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BEIJING (AP) — International stock markets drifted today after weak earnings from several U.S. companies added to global growth concerns as investors waited for the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest statement on monetary policy. Futures point to a mixed opening on wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell but remains above $45.50 a barrel. The dollar fell against the yen and edged up against the euro.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is expected to wrap up its latest policy meeting today by repeating the pledge it made in December: That it'll be "patient" in raising interest rates from record lows. The statement that Fed Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues issue after today's meeting will be scrutinized for any possible clues to a shift in Fed policy. Most economists foresee no rate hike until June at the earliest.

BEIJING (AP) — E-commerce giant Alibaba has run afoul of Chinese regulators who accused the company of allowing unlicensed merchants to use its sales platforms and failing to protect consumers' rights adequately. The report was prepared last summer, but withheld until now to avoid disrupting the company's U.S. stock market debut in September. The U.S. government and others have accused Alibaba of allowing sales of counterfeit goods.

TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo is reporting a nearly six-fold increase in profit for the first three quarters of the fiscal year Wednesday and raising its earnings forecast. The boost comes as a cheap yen is masking weak sales. The Japanese manufacturer of Wii U, Pokemon and Super Mario video games says profit for the nine months ended December 2014, totaled 59.52 billion yen ($504 million), up from 10.19 billion yen a year earlier.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian government is reacting to its worst economic crisis in a decade by proposing major spending cuts. The cuts would total 10 percent this year and 5 percent over the next two years in all categories except military and social expenditures. Russia's economy has been battered by lower energy prices, a collapse in the value of the ruble and Western sanctions over Ukraine.

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The Associated Press

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