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Family Dollar rejects Dollar General takeover bid; BofA in record settlement with DOJ; Weekly jobless claims fall

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Family Dollar (FDO) formally rejected a takeover bid from Dollar General (DG) this morning. Family Dollar said a merger with Dollar General wouldn’t likely be completed because of anti-trust concerns. Family Dollar also affirmed its support to merge with Dollar Tree (DLTR) in a deal worth about $8.5 billion.

The Justice Department announced a settlement with Bank of America (BAC) for the bank to pay $16.65 billion for its role in mortgage-backed securities sold in the run-up to the financial crisis. BofA will pay a penalty of $9.65 billion. An additional $7 billion in aid will go to homeowners and communities. The settlement is the largest in history between a company and the federal government.

The number of initial jobless claims fell below the 300,000 level once again. The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims fell 14,000 to 298,000 last week, just below the 300,000 economists were expecting. The four-week average climbed by 4,750 to 300,750, a four-week high. With weekly claims at or below 300,000, they're at lows not seen in eight years. 

Sears (SHLD) reported its ninth-straight quarterly loss, a $573 million loss compared to a $194 million loss in the same period last year. Adjusted earnings missed analysts' expectations by $0.24. Revenue, which fell almost 10%, also missed expectations.

It seems everyone is cutting back these days, including the Tooth Fairy. Visa's Tooth Fairy survey reported kids are receiving 8% less for teeth compared to last year. They're getting an average $3.40 this year compared to $3.70 in 2013.