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Looking ahead to the Fed minutes; Another bank may settle in a mortgage probe; Setback for Apple in China

Dean Arrindell
Hot Stock Minute

Investors are eagerly waiting for the minutes of last month’s Fed meeting. The Federal Open Market Market Committee will release the minutes at 2 p.m. Eastern today. Investors will be looking for clues as to when the Federal Reserve may make its first interest rate hike since 2006.

Citigroup (C) and the Justice Department are close to a $7 billion deal to settle allegations the bank sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis. According to reports, the settlement includes several billion dollars to help struggling borrowers. Settlement talks broke down last month when the two sides could not come to an agreement on how much money Citi should pay. The details of the settlement could be announced as early as next week. Citigroup is scheduled to report earnings on Monday.

A Chinese court upheld the validity of a patent held by a Shanghai-based company that claims Apple's (AAPL) voice-assistant Siri violates its patent. Apple said it will appeal, but the ruling clears the way for Zhizhen Network Technology's suit against Apple that it filed in 2012, claiming that Siri violated the patent for Zhizhen's chat application for its Little I Robot. A spokesperson for Zhizhen is quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying that they expect a verdict in that case in two or three months. The verdict doesn't mean that Siri will be taken off Apple devices, and both sides said they are open to discussions with one another.

The dispute between Amazon (AMZN) and Hachette over e-book prices continues. Amazon began delaying shipments of some Hachette books to pressure the publisher. Some Hachette authors publicly criticized Amazon for doing that, but yesterday Amazon proposed giving Hachette authors 100% of the revenue from e-book sales until the two companies reached an agreement. Hachette refused the offer. We want to know what you think about the dispute between Amazon and Hachette. When companies make disputes public, are they more difficult to resolve? Vote in our poll, leave a comment below or on Twitter.