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Big week for earnings; Citigroup reports earnings, reaches $7B settlement with Justice Department; Merger mania

It's the start of a busy week several bank and technology companies reporting earnings this week. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) will report on Tuesday, Bank of America will report Wednesay and Morgan Stanley (MS) on Thursday. On the technology side, Intel (INTC) and Yahoo (YHOO) report on Tuesday. eBay (EBAY) is on Wednesday and Google (GOOGL) is on Thursday.

However it's Citigroup (C) that started off the week with earnings. The nation's fourth largest bank reported earnings $0.03 per share, but when you exclude the $7 bilion settlement with the Justice Department over subprime mortgages that was announced this morning, as well as other charges, it earned $1.24 a share. That topped analysts' estimates. Revenue also beat expectations coming in at $19.38 billion. However, both earnings and revenue fell from a year earlier.

The $7 billion settlement betweem Citigroup and the Justice Department took a strange turn. According to reports, the DOJ gave notice to Citigroup that it was ready to sue the bank after an agreement couldn't be reached. However, when a suspect was arrested in the 2012 attack in Benghazi that killed four Americans, the Justice Department said the lawsuit was put on hold. That brought the two sides back to the negotiating table, where they were able to reach this settlement.

The Swiss company that makes Lindt chocolate has reportedly agreed to buy U.S. chocolate candy-maker Russell Stover Candies. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed, but previous reports said the companies were discussing a price of $1.4 billion. It's another example of M&A activity that rose dramatically in the first half of the year. Through June 26, M&A volume rose 75% to $1.75 trillion compared to the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters data. That's its highest volume since 2007. Cross-border M&A increased 132% compared to last year.

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