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  • How states fared on unemployment benefit claims Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:17 AM ET

    The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless aid increased 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000. The less volatile four-week moving average dipped to 297,250, the lowest reading since April 2006. New York: Down 18,663, due to fewer layoffs in education, transportation and warehousing, and health care and social assistance.

  • Colgate-Palmolive 2Q profit climbs 11 percent Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:16 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Colgate-Palmolive Co. on Thursday reported profit that increased by 11 percent in its second quarter. The New York- based company said earnings increased to $622 million, or 67 cents per share, from $561 million, or 60 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

  • *Investors fret over Argentina default fallout. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower Wall Street open Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 likely to turn negative for the month on concerns over the strength of overseas economies and ongoing tensions with Russia.

  • *IMF flags China property sector risks. LONDON, July 31- Zinc lost ground on Thursday after inventories rose, highlighting an overhang of supplies that analysts say needs to be eroded before expected shortages kick in.

  • July 31- Kellogg Co, the world's largest maker of breakfast cereal, reported its fifth straight decline in quarterly U.S. cereal sales and said it no longer expects full-year internal sales to rise. The company cut its adjusted earnings forecast for the year ending December to between $3.81 and $3.89 per share from between $3.89 and $3.97.

  • Discovery 2Q profit rises 26 percent Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:10 AM ET

    SILVER SPRING, Md.— Discovery Communications Inc. on Thursday reported profit that increased by 26 percent in its second quarter, and topped analysts' expectations. The Silver Spring, Maryland- based company said profit increased to $379 million, or $1.09 per share, from $300 million, or 82 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

  • ConocoPhillips 2Q profit rises 1.5 percent Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:04 AM ET

    HOUSTON— ConocoPhillips on Thursday reported net income that increased by 1.5 percent in its second quarter. The Houston- based company said profit increased to $2.08 billion, or $1.67 per share, from $2.05 billion, or $1.65 per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

  • BOSTON, July 31- USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday.

  • July 31- U.S. oil and gas company Apache Corp, under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners, said on Thursday it plans to sell its interest in two liquefied natural gas projects, and reported lower quarterly profit.

  • Avon 2Q slumps as sales fall at home and abroad Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 AM ET

    NEW YORK, N.Y.— Avon's profit slumped by 40 percent in the second quarter with the struggling cosmetics company booking weak sales in the Americas. Revenue in North America tumbled 20 percent, it fell 16 percent in Latin America and 13 percent in the Asia Pacific region.

  • As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 9:01 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent. At 53, Hunter now works three days a week for $9.25 an hour, mopping floors and fixing fryers at two McDonald's restaurants in Chicago. The Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the economy is the glummest it's been in seven months.

  • WASHINGTON, July 31- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but the underlying trend pointed to a continuing strengthening of labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 for the week ended July 26, the Labor Department said.

  • *Subaru maker Fuji Heavy's operating profit margin at 13 pct. TOKYO, July 31- Japanese automakers Mazda Motor Corp and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, which makes Subaru cars, said they are on track for record full-year profits after strong sales in the United States powered double-digit profit growth in April-June.

  • TORONTO, July 31- Canadian media and cable company Shaw Communications Inc said it would buy data center services provider ViaWest Inc from Oak Hill Capital Partners and others in a deal valued at $1.2 billion on an enterprise basis.

  • BUENOS AIRES, July 31- Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after last-ditch talks with what it called "vulture" creditors failed, though debt insurance prices on Thursday suggested investors believed a deal could eventually be reached.

  • TEL AVIV, July 31- Diamonds are a girl's best friend- but only if they are natural. Global diamond jewelry sales are worth more than $72 billion a year, according to the World Diamond Council, and jewelers like Tiffany and diamond miners led by De Beers stress that a jewel mined at great expense, and often with great risk, is infinitely more valuable than one made by man.

  • July 31- Timken Co reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by a fall in demand for its ball bearings and power transmission components from the automotive and mining industries. Net income attributable to Timken fell to $62.7 million, or 68 cents per share, for the second quarter ended June 30, from $82.8 million, or 86 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Argentine five-year protection widened over 500 bp Thursday while the sovereign's bonds dropped around seven points following its default. Argentina's five-year CDS widened 513 bp to 1,957 bp in spread terms or 40.5 points up-front.

  • Kellogg's profit falls as cereal unit struggles Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 8:48 AM ET

    Kellogg Co., based in Battle Creek, Michigan, has been fighting to boost slumping sales of cereals in North America, where people have been turning to a growing variety of options such as Greek yogurt and breakfast sandwiches in the mornings.

  • Exxon profit surges, but production slips Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 8:45 AM ET

    NEW YORK— Exxon Mobil Corp. net income rose 28 percent in the second quarter on a sale of Asian assets and higher oil prices, but oil and gas production slipped 6 percent, disappointing analysts. On a per-share basis, Exxon earned $2.05, up from $1.55 last year.