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Markets are poised to start the session on a strong note ahead of a busy economic calendar. In company news, here are some names to watch today.

  • Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said it will introduce a new series of hybrid vehicles, as a means of competing against Toyota Motor Corp's (ADR) (NYSE:TM) successful Prius series. The vehicles -- which will be powered by both gasoline and electric -- are slated to be introduced to stores as a 2019 model.(Reuters)

  • Russia has closed the doors on four of its McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) restaurants in Moscow, including the flagship location that was opened almost 25 years ago. The stores have come under pressure of late, after Russia's federal consumer agency accused MCD of "sanitary violations." In response to the accusations, MCD said, "We are closely studying the subject of the documents to define what should be done to re-open the restaurants as soon as possible." (CNN Money)

  • Customer information at roughly 51 domestic United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) may have been compromised by a group of hackers from Eastern Europe. At this point, it's not clear how many customers have been affected, but the hackers are assumed to be the same group behind Target Corporation's (NYSE:TGT) massive security breach last holiday season. (Mashable)

  • Family Dollar Stores, Inc.'s (NYSE:FDO) board of directors has unanimously voted to reject Dollar General Corp.'s (NYSE:DG) $9.7 billion bid, due to concerns over antitrust approval. FDO will instead be acquired by Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR), whose $8.5 billion offer was approved by FDO's board in July. (Charlotte Observer)

  • Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is close to settling with federal and state officials for a reported $16.65 billion over its role in the mortgage-backed securities crisis in 2008. The financial firm is expected to release the details of the settlement at a news conference later this morning. Additionally, prosecutors are rumored to be preparing a civil case against Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo. BAC acquired Countrywide in 2008.(The New York Times)

  • Among companies that reported earnings are DLTR, L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB), Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), and Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD). (The Washington Post; MarketWatch; The New York Times; USA Today)

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