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  • Summary Box: Sept. sales slow from Aug. Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:10 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- SEPTEMBER SALES: A tally of 22 major retailers, including Target Corp. and Macy's Inc., showed that September sales rose 3.9 percent compared with a year ago. That's slower than the 6 percent rise in August. BEHIND THE NUMBERS: But shoppers are still spending.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 4- President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney praised the deficit-cutting framework known as Simpson-Bowles in their debate on Wednesday, but neither candidate has embraced the politically unpopular choices put forward in the plan.

  • DIARY - Today in Washington - Oct 5 Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 4:00 PM ET

    0830/ 1230: The Labor Dept. issues Employment Situation for September. 1300/ 1700: NEW YORK- Federal Reserve Board Governor Elizabeth Duke speaks on "Neighborhood Stabilization" in an event held at and hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. 1500/ 1900: The Federal Reserve releases a report on consumer installment credit for August.

  • *Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday. NEW YORK, Oct 4- U.S. natural gas futures ended slightly higher on Thursday in a seesaw session, as traders shrugged off a bearish weekly inventory report and focused instead on cooler weather forecasts for next week and better heating demand as winter approaches.

  • California pump prices poised to break record Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:58 PM ET

    LOS ANGELES, Oct 4- Pump prices in California have soared this week and are poised to break a record set in the summer of 2008 due to low inventories and disruptions at key Golden State refineries. The state average for a gallon of regular gasoline jumped to $4.315 on Thursday, 18.2 cents higher than last week and 49 cents higher than a year ago, according to AAA data.

  • California gasoline price jumps 8 cents overnight Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:55 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO-- The cost of gasoline in California jumped 8 cents overnight and is poised to soar to the highest point this year in what analysts say is a supply problem fueled by refinery and pipeline outages.

  • Oct 4- The trustee liquidating Lehman Brothers' U.S. brokerage has reached a settlement with its former derivatives unit that will reduce to $550 million an original claim of $6 billion, according to court documents.

  • Sears' holiday hiring to be flat from last year Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:52 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Sears Holdings Corp. said that its hiring of seasonal workers for the crucial winter holidays will be unchanged from a year ago.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- The Connecticut U.S. Senate race is essentially tied one month before the November election as Democratic U.S. Representative Christopher Murphy tries to fend off former wrestling magnate Linda McMahon, a Quinnipiac University poll showed on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- A comprehensive review of the U.S. stock market is in order because an enormous increase in new rules has exacerbated the risk of an outdated regulatory framework, a commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 4- A steroid medication linked to the fungal meningitis deaths of at least five people may have been administered to patients in 23 states, the Centers for Disease Control said on Thursday. The outbreak first was reported in Tennessee, where two people died.

  • IFR Preview-Major US economic data for Oct. 5 Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:48 PM ET

    WHAT: Labor Department Employment Situation, September. FORECASTS Reuters IFR Previous Nonfarm payrolls +113,000 +130,000 +96,000 Private payrolls +130,000 +140,000 +103,000 Jobless rate 8.2 8.2 8.1. Average hrly earnings +0.2 +0.2 0.0.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- One of today's major debates is how big government should be. Diana Farrell, an economist who recently returned to the consulting firm McKinsey after a two-year stint in the White House, thinks smart pragmatists should seize this common ground.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- So far this year, top U.S. brokers managing more than $86 billion in client assets have decamped for a rival firm or decided go it alone- a troubling trend for big brokerages as teams with larger books of client assets depart. Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Bank of America's.

  • NASA, Russia eye yearlong space station assignments Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:40 PM ET

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Oct 4- NASA is considering doubling the amount of time an astronaut spends at the International Space Station to a year, laying the groundwork for future missions deeper into space, officials said Thursday. If approved, a mission likely would begin in 2015, said NASA spokesman Rob Navias.

  • Rains slightly reduce drought severity in Arkansas Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:39 PM ET

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Recent rain that fell across parts of Arkansas last weekend helped to slightly reduce the severity of drought in the state. Drought Monitor report released Thursday just less than 9 percent of the state in exceptional drought _ the worst category.

  • Drought conditions ease slightly in Oklahoma Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:39 PM ET

    OKLAHOMA CITY-- Rain that fell across much of Oklahoma last weekend helped to slightly reduce the severity of exceptional drought in the state. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows 28 percent of the state in exceptional drought _ the worst category.

  • Obama-Romney debate draws bigger TV audience than 2008 Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:37 PM ET

    More than 37 million watched the 90- minute encounter on the four leading broadcast networks and 21 million turned to cable news channels CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen media. The viewing figures are expected to rise when final data is released by Nielsen later on Thursday that will include smaller TV networks.

  • Security startup Cylance acquires Ridgeway of Dallas Thursday, 4 Oct 2012 | 3:36 PM ET

    BOSTON, Oct 4- Cylance Inc, a startup founded by McAfee Inc's former global chief technology officer, has acquired a tiny Dallas firm that provides technology to fight web-based cyber attacks.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 4- PwC, the world's largest accounting firm, reported a record $31.5 billion in revenues in 2012 and forecast a big shift in business to developing markets, including the Middle East, despite prolonged civil unrest in the region.