By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Snowstorms have repeatedly battered parts of the United States this winter, making it more difficult to discern returning weakness in the economy from seasonal distortions.

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Sterling fell to a nine-month low against the U.S. dollar and dived to a one-year low on the yen on Monday, on the back of growing political uncertainty as an opinion poll pointed at the risk of a hung parliament

By Leah Schnurr NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks rose on Friday, capping their best monthly advance since November as data showed the economy grew a tad better than expected in the fourth quarter. On a day marked by light volume as Wall Street was buried in a snowstorm, the falling dollar also boosted the shares of exporters, who benefit from a weaker greenback. “The dollar has declined somewhat and, in general, when the dollar has been declining, that’s positive for equities,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

By Gertrude Chavez and Vivianne Rodrigues NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar fell against the euro on Friday as investors pared extreme short positions in the euro on the last business day of the month after its recent declines. The euro hit a session high after a Bloomberg report that Germany may buy Greek bonds through lender KfW Group

By Matt Spetalnick and Caren Bohan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden on Friday proposed new rules to help protect U.S. workers’ retirement savings as part of a broader government effort to bolster the finances of middle class voters. With President Barack Obama’s popularity ratings down in a congressional election year, his administration has sought to focus more on middle-class voters’ concerns about high unemployment, the ailing economy and their troubled finances

* Q4 EPS $0.71 vs est $0.73 * Higher expenses hurt profit * Sees 2010 EPS below Street view * Shares down as much as 11 pct (Adds CEO comments from conference call, updates share movement) Feb 26 (Reuters) – FTI Consulting Inc (FCN.N: Quote , Profile , Research ) reported a quarterly profit below Wall Street estimates on higher expenses and forecast weak 2010 earnings, sending the business advisory firm’s shares down as much as 11 percent. The economy is struggling to show signs of real recovery and economic growth is expected to be anaemic in both the United States and Europe, Chief Executive Jack Dunn said on a conference call with analysts. However, the company is experiencing signs of improving trends in discretionary spending and capital markets activity, he said.

By Soyoung Kim and Doug Young DETROIT/HONG KONG (Reuters) – General Motors (GM.UL: Quote , Profile , Research ) has approached previous bidders for its Hummer unit after a deal to sell the brand to an obscure Chinese firm collapsed, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Friday. GM has reached out to the companies whose offers for the military-derived SUV line were turned down last year when the U.S

(Reuters) – U.S. authorities are probing individuals close to NIR Group on whether the U.S. hedge fund firm paid kickbacks to outsiders to inflate the value of its holdings, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter