Stocks higher…Kinder Morgan on the rise…Buyout offer for Chiquita

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are giving up some of their morning gains. An easing of tensions in Ukraine combined with subdued Chinese inflation and positive corporate news helped stock markets around the world get off to a strong start to the week. The main U.S. indexes are still higher in afternoon trading. The S&P 500 was up 6 points, while the Dow is 25 to 30 points higher and the Nasdaq composite is up close to 30.

NEW YORK (AP) — Kinder Morgan is one of the day’s big gainers on Wall Street. The company’s shares were up 10 percent, after it said that oil and gas pipeline and storage companies that it controls will combine to create the 4th biggest U.S. energy company by market value. Currently, the companies trade separately.

NEW YORK (AP) — Chiquita Brands has received a buyout offer from investment firm Safra Group and agribusiness and juice company Cutrale Group in excess of $600 million. Safra and Cutrale are offering $13 per share, a 29 percent premium to Chiquita Brands closing price of $10.06 on Friday. The unsolicited bid comes as Chiquita and Fyffes of Ireland were working on their own transaction.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are warning consumers about the risks of using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it will begin fielding complaints from people who rely on products such as Bitcoin and online exchanges for such currencies. The agency notes that the currencies are not backed by the government, have volatile exchanges rates and are targeted by hackers and scammers.

CHILMARK, Mass. (AP) — The White House is putting together a team of digital experts to upgrade the government’s technology infrastructure and make its websites more consumer friendly. The move is aimed at avoiding a repeat of the website debacle that marred the rollout of President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation last year. The new digital team will be overseen by Mikey Dickerson, an engineer who took leave from Google in order to supervise fixes to the HealthCare.gov site.

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