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  • *Family Dollar rejects Dollar General buyout offer. NEW YORK, Aug 21- U.S. stocks inched higher on Thursday and the S&P notched a record high as a flurry of data pointed to steady improvement in the economy and investors awaited the start of a meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

  • NEW YORK, Aug 21- U.S. stocks opened little changed on Thursday as many investors held off on making bets ahead of the start of a meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, though jobless claims data pointed to continued improvement in the labor market.

  • *Family Dollar rejects Dollar General buyout offer. NEW YORK, Aug 21- U.S. stocks were set for a slightly higher open on Thursday, after jobless claims data pointed to continued improvement in the labor market and before the start of a meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

  • *Jackson Hole conference to begin. *Bank of America gains before expected settlement deal. NEW YORK, Aug 21- U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Thursday, ahead of a flurry of economic data and the start of the meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

  • *Eyes on Jackson Hole- fund manager. TOKYO, Aug 21- Japanese stocks rose to a three-week high on Thursday morning, clocking gains for the ninth consecutive day, as the weaker yen shored up exporters after minutes of the U.S.

  • *Home Depot lifts the Dow; rival Lowe's rebounds. *Target bounces back; American Eagle rallies. NEW YORK, Aug 20- U.S. stocks ended mostly higher on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 just missing a record close, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting gave investors reason to believe that the central bank is in no rush to raise interest rates.

  • *Wall Street rebounds on Fed minutes, dollar rallies. NEW YORK, Aug 20- Global equity markets rose on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve indicated there is no rush to bring forward plans to raise interest rates in the future, reversing earlier declines that were driven by hints from the Bank of England of an early rate hike.

  • *Lowe's pares losses, Target rebounds, after dim forecasts. NEW YORK, Aug 20- U.S. stocks inched higher Wednesday after two days of gains, ahead of the release of minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting, as investors brushed off bleak earnings forecasts from some retailers like Lowe's and Target.

  • LONDON, Aug 20- World stocks fell on Wednesday as investors braced for the possibility that a major central bank could raise interest rates this year after Bank of England minutes showed two of the bank's nine rate-setters voted for a hike earlier this month.

  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks halt rally, BoE jolts UK markets Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 5:06 AM ET

    *Attention shifts from Ukraine- Russia conflict. LONDON, Aug 20- World stocks mostly halted their recent rally on Wednesday before the latest policy signal from the U.S. central bank, while UK stocks and bonds fell after Bank of England minutes showed two rate-setters voted to raise interest rates earlier this month.

  • Nikkei up a tad, gains for 8th day as weak yen supports Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 | 2:29 AM ET

    TOKYO, Aug 20- Japanese stocks eked out a small gain on Wednesday to mark its longest winning streak since last December, though sentiment was subdued as many investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of a gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. A weaker yen nudged the Nikkei share average up 0.03 percent to 15,454.45, the eighth straight day of gains.

  • TOKYO, Aug 20- Asian stocks were steady on Wednesday after strong U.S. housing data lifted Wall Street shares, helping nudge Treasury yields higher and keeping the dollar well bid against the euro and yen. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

  • TOKYO, Aug 20- Japan's Nikkei share average rose for an eighth day on Wednesday morning as the yen weakened, but gains were subdued as many investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of the U.S.

  • TOKYO, Aug 20- Asian stocks were steady on Wednesday after strong U.S. housing data lifted Wall Street shares, helping nudge Treasury yields higher and keeping the dollar well bid against the euro and yen. Tokyo's Nikkei gained. 0.2 percent and South Korea shares rose 0.4 percent. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat.

  • *Apple retakes triple-digit territory, hits $100. NEW YORK, Aug 19- U.S. stocks ended higher for the second straight session on Tuesday, as robust housing data and strong earnings from Dow component Home Depot overshadowed lingering concerns about the conflict in Ukraine.

  • *Wall St boosted by Home Depot results, housing data. NEW YORK, Aug 19- Wall Street got a lift from the U.S. housing sector and extended a global stock markets rally on Tuesday as investors shifted focus from political crises to expectations monetary policy will remain accommodative.

  • *Apple retakes triple-digit territory, hits $100. NEW YORK, Aug 19- U.S. stocks rose for a second straight session on Tuesday as upbeat housing market data and strong earnings from Dow industrials component Home Depot overshadowed lingering worry about the conflict in Ukraine.

  • Aug 19- Activist investor Orange Capital LLC said it would ask oil and gas company Bellatrix Exploration Ltd to consider strategic alternatives after it became the largest shareholder in the Canadian company. Bellatrix's shares rose as much as 7.6 percent after New York- based Orange Capital reported a 5.3 percent in the company.

  • *Home Depot climbs after earnings, outlook. NEW YORK, Aug 19- U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, after solid earnings from Home Depot and supportive economic data on inflation and the housing market.

  • *Europe higher, follows on from Asia, U.S. gains. LONDON, Aug 19- Global stocks rose and core bonds barely moved on renewed investor appetite for risk on Tuesday, driven by a lack of escalation of the Ukraine crisis and upbeat U.S. housing data that buoyed Asian and European markets.