DETROIT, April 21- U.S. safety regulators closed a four-year probe into power steering problems in almost 335,000 older Saturn Ions after General Motors Co recalled the cars, which are also part of an unrelated recall of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.» Read More
*Parliamentary speaker says election will be on June 3. BEIRUT, April 21- Syria set a presidential election for June 3 on Monday, preparing the ground for leader Bashar al-Assad to defy widespread opposition and extend his grip on power days after he said the war was turning in his favour.
April 21- The United Auto Workers union on Monday said it was withdrawing its objection claiming undue outside political interference to the result of a February election it lost among workers at the Volkswagen AG plant in Tennessee.
NEW YORK— Hillshire Brands said Monday that it reached a deal to buy Van's Natural Foods from private equity firm Catterton Partners for $165 million, marking the company's expansion into non-meat foods.
Halliburton says it was profitable in the first-quarter after reporting a loss for the period a year ago. Halliburton sells services to companies that drill for oil and natural gas, including helping them with hydraulic fracturing, a method of breaking up underground shale rock formations to release trapped gas.
April 21- Halliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services company, reported better-than-expected quarterly results, helped by robust drilling activity in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Angola. Halliburton, traditionally dominant in the United States, has been making a big push into international markets to combat weakness in North America.
OAK BROOK, Ill.— TreeHouse Foods is buying private label food and beverage company Protenergy Natural Foods for 170 million Canadian dollars. TreeHouse Foods Inc. is buying Protenergy from Whitecastle Investments Ltd., Whitecap Venture Partners and others.
*Results from Netflix expected after the market close. *The S&P 500 had its best week since July last week, boosted by strong results from such names as General Electric Co and Morgan Stanley. However, thus far the earnings season has been mixed, with technology names like Google Inc and IBM struggling to impress investors.
April 21- Toymaker Hasbro Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong demand for its toys for girls. Hasbro's first-quarter revenue rose 2 percent to $679.5 million, falling short of the average analyst estimate of $690.17 million.
LONDON, April 21- Chicago wheat fell around 2 percent on Monday to its lowest in almost a week after much needed rains fell in the parched U.S. Corn and soybean prices were also lower. Chicago Board of Trade wheat for May delivery was off 2.0 percent at $6.77-1/ 4 a bushel at 1119 GMT after earlier dipping to $6.76-1/ 4 a bushel, its lowest since April 15.
April 21- Sarepta Therapeutics Inc said it would start new trials to revive the chance of approval for its experimental muscle disorder drug after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised the company to submit new safety and efficacy data. Cambridge, Massachusetts- based Sarepta's stock jumped nearly 64 percent to $40 in trading before the bell on Monday.
April 21- Oilfield services company Halliburton Co reported a profit for the first quarter, compared with a loss a year earlier when it booked a pre-tax charge of $1 billion related to the Gulf of Mexico spill.
LONDON, April 21- Pfizer may come back to bid for British drug company AstraZeneca after its reported 60 billion pound takeover approach was rejected, since a deal could make sense for the U.S. pharmaceuticals giant as it seeks to build up its cancer franchise.
April 21- China's online game developer Perfect World Co Ltd said it joined the consortium offering to buy rival Shanda Games Ltd.. Perfect World said it would buy 30.3 million class A Shanda Games shares for $100 million from Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd, a shareholder in Shanda Games.
LONDON/ NEW YORK, April 21- Barclays is planning to withdraw from large parts of the metals, agricultural and energy markets as part of a restructuring of its investment bank, a person familiar with the matter said.
TOKYO, April 21- The Bank of Japan is likely to hold off on expanding monetary stimulus for as long as possible but when it does act, it will take "extraordinary" steps such as buying government bonds on a massive scale, a former central bank policymaker said on Monday.
April 21- Toymaker Hasbro Inc reported a quarterly profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, helped by strong demand for its toys for girls. The company's first-quarter revenue rose 2 percent to $679.5 million. Net income was $32.1 million, or 24 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 30, compared with a net loss of $6.7 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.
PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island— Hasbro returned to profitability in its first quarter, driven by sales of girls' toys such as My Little Pony and Nerf Rebelle. Its latest earnings topped Wall Street estimates but revenue was short of what analysts expected. Sales for the entertainment and licensing division rose 13 percent thanks to the inclusion of Backflip Studios.
BEIRUT, April 21- Syria will hold a presidential election on June 3, the speaker of parliament said on Monday, setting a date for a vote likely to give President Bashar al-Assad a third term days after he said his forces were winning the country's civil war.
More businesses saw higher costs for materials, labor in first quarter, report finds Girl Power: Hasbro returns to 1st- quarter profit as sales of girls' toys strengthen Asian stocks mixed after holiday weekend as investors look ahead to South Korea, China data TreeHouse Foods purchasing Protenergy Natural Foods for about $150 million Japan logs record $134 billion trade deficit in fiscal 2013 on surging costs for imported fuel Global automakers unveil China-focused models at Beijing auto show as China's influence grows Construction frenzy in Lebanon alters Beirut's skyline, as high rises replace old heritage Reform is buzzword at Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but effects of that unclear Federal lawsuits end, questions linger about 2009 plane-into-home crash in NY; trial unlikely Reports of an Amazon smartphone are rampant.
April 21- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to subpoena online home-rental marketplace Airbnb seeking records to identify users who are illegally renting out apartments, the New York Post reported citing sources.