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Wall Street looks to build on rally ahead of Fed meeting

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. stock futures were holding near the flatline this morning, after the S&P 500's highest close of 2016 on Friday and four straight weeks of gains on Wall Street. Investors also focus on the Fed's upcoming two-day meeting, which begins tomorrow. (CNBC)

Oil prices were sharply lower this morning, with Iran dashing hopes of a coordinated production freeze any time soon. U.S. crude surged nearly 1.75 percent on Friday and more than 7 percent for the week. (Reuters)

Asian stocks closed higher overnight, with Japan's Nikkei 225 and China's Shanghai composite both gaining more than 1.7 percent. The moves higher followed Friday rallies in both Europe and Wall Street. (CNBC)

European stocks continued higher this morning. Stocks in Germany led the way in early trading, despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party suffering a big political setback over the weekend as her party. (CNBC)

Ahead of tomorrow's key primaries in Florida and Ohio, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, will be campaigning with GOP candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich who's locked in a dead-heat with front-runner Donald Trump. (NBC News)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the most delegates awarded in the Wyoming Republican conventions Saturday, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio narrowly beat Kasich in Washington, D.C. Tomorrow's Florida primary is seen as make-or-break for Rubio who trails Trump. (NY Times)

Donald Trump did not take responsibility for the violent encounters at his campaign events. Instead, the billionaire businessman criticized the protesters who forced him to cancel an event in Chicago on Friday. (Reuters)

The thunderstorms that killed six people and flooded thousands more out of their homes in the South were clearing out overnight, but major river flooding is expected to continue for many days. (NBC News)

An Amtrak train traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago derailed in Kansas today. Amtrak also said initial reports indicated there were no life-threatening injuries to the 128 passengers and 14 crew members on board. (Reuters)

Turkey's air force hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq Monday, just hours after a suicide car-bombing in the capital of Ankara killed 37 people. It was the second deadly attack blamed on Kurdish militants in the capital in the past month. (AP)

Former Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen, fired after a sexual abuse lawsuit was brought against him, plans tofile a cross complaint today, calling the suit "alleging extortion." (CNBC)

Starwood (HOT) received an unsolicited takeover proposal from a consortium of companies, led by China's Anbang Insurance Group, worth $76 per share. But Starwood still supports its previous deal to be bought by Marriott (MAR). (Reuters)

Blackstone Group (BX) has agreed to sell Strategic Hotels & Resorts for $6.5 billion, also to Anbang Insurance, which bought the Waldorf Astoria in New York last year for $1.95 billion. (AP)

Fresh Market (TFM) has agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Apollo Global Management (APO) for about $1.36 billion. (CNBC)

In an effort to simplify its business, Yahoo (YHOO) plans to shut down a number of projects, including Yahoo Games, LiveText, Yahoo Astrology, and several parts of its Yahoo BOSS web search platform. (Recode)

BY THE NUMBERS

There were no government economic reports due out today, but Wall Street get a flood of key inflation numbers tomorrow and Wednesday ahead of the Fed's interest rate decision. The producer price index is out tomorrow and the consumer price index is out Wednesday.

STOCKS TO WATCH

An SEC filing revealed that part of executive compensation at Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) will now be tied to the stock's performance. Chipotle has seen sales suffer after illness outbreaks at some restaurants late last year.

United Continental (UAL) Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz returns from medical leave today. Two hedge funds that launched a battle for boardroom control last week are now expressing concerns about his compensation, according to Reuters.

General Motors (GM) will be the focus of a second trial involving its faulty ignition switches, with jury selection beginning in a New York courtroom today.

Pfizer (PFE) stopped selling its popular Corex cough syrup in India, after it appeared on a list of 344 drug combinations that regulators banned in that country over the weekend.

Walt Disney's (DIS) "Zootopia" topped the weekend box office for a second straight weekend, racking up $50 million in North American ticket sales.

WATERCOOLER

The NCAA is looking into how the men's March Madness tournament bracket leaked on the Internet before the official unveiling during the Selection Sunday show on CBS. (USA Today)

Millions of people worldwide today are celebrating both a mathematical constant and a sweet filling in a pie crust — in other words, Pi Day, March 14 or 3.14. (USA Today)