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Stocks flat...4 big banks fined $2.5 billion...Target profit rises...Lowe's disappoints



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NEW YORK (AP) — The major stock indexes are barely moving in early trading on Wall Street. Traders are looking over several earnings reports and awaiting this afternoon's release of minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policymaking meeting. The meeting in late April was when the Fed downgraded its view of the U.S. economy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four big banks will be paying $2.5 billion in fines. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays and The Royal Bank of Scotland admit they conspired with one another to fix rates on U.S. dollars and euros traded in the huge global market for currencies. A settlement with the U.S. Justice Department says the criminal behavior took place between December 2007 and January 2013.

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is reporting a 52 percent increase in its first-quarter profit on solid sales of fashion and baby items, offering evidence that its efforts to spruce up its merchandise are paying off. The retailer, based in Minneapolis, also boosted the bottom end of its annual profit outlook. Target is trying to reclaim its reputation as a purveyor of cheap chic.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Lowe's saw its sales and profit rise in the first quarter as the housing market began to thaw, but the performance was below what Wall Street expected. The performance was a stark contrast to the performance of rival Home Depot, which beat almost all projections yesterday and raised its outlook for the year. Sales at Lowe's stores open at least a year rose 5.2 percent, a figure that was easily outpaced by Home Depot. Lowe's maintained its earnings projections for the year.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A man is suing Blue Bell, saying he contracted listeria-related meningitis after eating ice cream produced by the company in 2013. In a negligence suit filed in Austin, David Philip Shockley says he was hospitalized with respiratory failure and septic shock in October 2013 after eating Blue Bell products. He suffered brain damage and now lives with relatives in Maryland. Texas-based Blue Bell recalled all its ice cream and halted production in April after a series of listeria infections linked to its products.

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The Associated Press

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