U.S. stocks inched higher in a volatile session in lockstep with crude oil prices. Crude closed higher as investors weighed hopes for a supply cut from Saudi Arabia against a massive increase in U.S. stockpiles. The weak start to the year was made apparent in the Fed's 'Beige Book,' a collection of economic anecdotes from across the country. Growth was reported in all 12 districts through to late February, though manufacturing activity took a hit on a strong U.S. dollar and weaker global economy. Former Chesapeake Energy (CHK) CEO Aubrey McClendon died in a car accident on Wednesday just a day after being indicted. Time Warner's (TWX) HBO is making a big push into Argentina and Brazil. The premium cable channel plans to expand its Web-only service into the region this year. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from Wall Street.
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