NEW YORK, March 16- U.S. stock investors will start the week on edge as markets worldwide react to the referendum that appears to back Russia's claim to Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, even if the vote result is not internationally recognized.» Read More
*VF Corp increases quarterly dividend by 21 pct. Oct 21- VF Corp, maker of The North Face clothes and Vans shoes, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit as strong sales in its higher-margin outdoor and action sports brands boosted gross margins. VF Corp said it expected full-year gross margins to rise by about 150 basis points to 48 percent.
Oct 21- Buoyant oilfield activity in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Angola helped Halliburton Co beat market expectations with a 17 percent rise in profit, setting up an even better performance for the fourth quarter.
*U.S. crude falls below $100 for first time since July 3. LONDON, Oct 21- U.S. crude fell below $100 per barrel on Monday amid pressure from strong supplies, but losses were limited by hopes the U.S.
Oct 21- ManpowerGroup Inc, the world's third-largest staffing company, reported a 50 percent jump in quarterly profit, helped by improved hiring in Europe and cost-cutting measures. The net income rose to $94.7 million, or $1.18 per share, in the third quarter, from $63.1 million, or 79 cents per share, a year earlier.
*Netflix to report earnings after the closing bell. *The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday to cap its biggest weekly gain in three months on stronger-than-expected earnings from companies including Google and Morgan Stanley.
PERTH/ MUMBAI, Oct 21- BHP Billiton is walking away from almost all of its oil and gas interests in India, citing an inability to carry out exploration operations there and dealing the latest setback to the country in its efforts to draw foreign investments.
Oct 21- Hasbro Inc, whose popular brands include Monopoly, Nerf and My Little Pony, on Monday reported a higher-than-expected profit for the third quarter as strong overseas demand helped the second-largest U.S. toy company offset weakness at home.
Oct 21- Network services provider Tellabs Inc agreed to be bought by Marlin Equity Partners for $891 million. Entities affiliated with Marlin offered $2.45 a share, representing a 4.3 percent premium to Tellabs' Friday closing. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013, Tellabs said.
ROME, Oct 21- When Silvio Berlusconi set out to end Italy's government last month, he didn't consult the national secretary of his People of Freedom Party. The aide said Alfano and the four other ministers of Berlusconi's People of Freedom Party had to step down immediately.
*Dollar index struggles near 8- month low. *Tuesday's U.S. payrolls data in focus. LONDON, Oct 21- The dollar rose against the yen and the Swiss franc on Monday as some investors positioned for a strong U.S. jobs data reading on Tuesday, which could revive debate about when the Federal Reserve will scale back monetary stimulus.
Oct 21- VF Corp, known for clothing brands The North Face and Vans, reported a 14 percent rise in third-quarter profit, boosted by strong sales in its outdoor& action sports and jeanswear businesses. Net income rose to $433.8 million, or $3.89 per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 28 from $381.3 million, or $3.42 per share a year earlier.
LONDON, Oct 21- Merlin Entertainments, whose attractions include the Madame Tussauds waxworks and Legoland theme parks, plans to sell at least 20 percent of its shares in a stock market debut in London next month.
CHICAGO, Oct 21- When the Obama administration unveiled new emission regulations for coal-fired power plants earlier this year, the National Association of Manufacturers blasted the proposed rules, saying they would hurt its members "twice"- as energy users and as polluters "next in line" for such rules.
He said, however, that he does check Facebook every day to see what his friends are up to. Hovasse's experience highlights a risk for investors as Twitter Inc marches towards this year's most anticipated initial public offering in the United States, expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-November.
ROME, Oct 21- Italy's three main trade union confederations will hold strikes and protests in the next few weeks against the government's 2014 budget plan, the head of the UIL union Luigi Angeletti said on Monday after a meeting with other union heads.
*Bund futures stable after one-point gains in past two days. LONDON, Oct 21- German Bunds held on to last week's gains on Monday as investors braced for a flood of U.S. economic data releases in the wake a likely growth-stifling government shutdown.
Oct 21- Hasbro Inc reported a higher-than-expected profit for the third quarter as strong overseas demand helped the second-largest U.S. toymaker offset weakness at home. Net earnings rose to $193.0 million, or $1.46 a share, from $164.9 million, or $1.24 a share, a year earlier.
LONDON, Oct 21- Gold steadied on Monday, struggling to build on its biggest weekly rise in two months, as a rally sparked by expectations that the Federal Reserve will postpone tapering its monetary stimulus programme ran out of steam.
It has also launched a slew of new and updated products in the profitable consumer appliances market- selling electric toothbrushes and shavers in Japan and China and air purifiers in China and Singapore where air quality is a concern.
LONDON/ TORONTO, Oct 21- Alcoa Inc, the world's second-largest aluminium producer, has complained to British and U.S. market regulators about a proposal by the London Metal Exchange to overhaul the LME's warehousing policy.