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  • SYDNEY, Aug 1- Asian shares pared losses on Friday as data showing a surprisingly strong pick up in Chinese manufacturing helped take some of the sting out of a slump on Wall Street.

  • *Gold melts to a 6- week low, oil hits 4- month trough. SYDNEY, Aug 1- Asian shares stumbled on Friday after a month-end swoon on Wall Street, though some were hoping China would offer better news on manufacturing and help steady investor sentiment. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.5 percent.

  • CHICAGO, July 31- A salmonella outbreak linked to California- based poultry producer Foster Farms' contaminated chicken appears to be over, more than 17 months after it began, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday.

  • Man accused of putting needles in packaged meat Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 6:02 PM ET

    The criminal complaint filed Wednesday against Ronald Avers said one buyer of boneless chuck roast at the Shop' n Save store in Belleville just east of St. Louis later bit into one of the needles, and a needle slipped into a steak stuck another customer.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • AP PHOTOS: Mansion or shack? It's the $1M question Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 3:54 PM ET

    That's what$ 1 million will buy you in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. The Bay Area saw a record number of houses and condos going for $1 million and above in the spring, pushing the median selling price into the cool million-dollar range for the first time in June, real estate research firm CoreLogic DataQuick said Thursday.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Famed oil trader Andy Hall's more than $3 billion hedge fund was up nearly 20 percent at the half-year mark, sharply outpacing its rivals in one of the best performances of its seven-year history, data obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

  • *Corn, soy, wheat all post monthly losses. "The beans firmed up due to some speculators taking advantage of the weakness earlier in light of the very strong demand we are seeing," said Terry Reilly, an analyst at Futures International in Chicago. Chicago Board of Trade soybeans for August delivery settled up 4 cents at $12.24-1/ 2 a bushel.

  • Oregon Medicaid targets expensive hepatitis drug Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 3:23 PM ET

    The decision allows only a narrow set of Medicaid patients to be treated with the $1,000- per-pill drug known as Sovaldi, made by Gilead Sciences Inc.. They say treating all Medicaid patients with the liver-wasting disease would cost almost as much as last year's entire drug bill.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled more than $2 on Thursday, going below $98 a barrel, hitting the lowest level since March on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a Kansas oil refinery, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- Famed oil trader Andy Hall's more than $3 billion hedge fund was up nearly 20 percent at the half-year mark, sharply outpacing its rivals in one of the best performances of its seven-year history, data obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

  • *OPEC oil output rises in July from June- Reuters survey. NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil tumbled to a more than four-month low under $100 a barrel on Thursday on news of a potentially lengthy shutdown at a key oil refinery in Kansas, while Brent also slipped amid signs of robust OPEC oil production.

  • NEW YORK, July 31- U.S. crude oil futures plunged by nearly $2 and Brent crude oil futures fell by more than $1 per barrel on news that the 115,000- barrel-per-day Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery could be down for four weeks following a July 29 fire.

  • U.S. hospitals get lift from surge in Medicaid sign-ups Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 12:40 PM ET

    CHICAGO, July 31- U.S. hospitals are getting a stronger-than-expected benefit from a new influx of low-income patients whose bills are paid by the government's Medicaid program, raising their profit forecasts as a result.

  • *Shares touch low of $22.60, below IPO price of $23. July 31- General Electric Co's credit card unit, Synchrony Financial, made a muted debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday as investors remained ambivalent about the chances of a consumer-led U.S. economic recovery.

  • *Wheat flat in consolidation trading. *Corn, soy, wheat all on track for monthly losses. "The beans firmed up due to some speculators taking advantage of the weakness earlier in light of the very strong demand we are seeing," said Terry Reilly, an analyst with Futures International in Chicago.

  • New Paris hotel joins race to pamper the super rich Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 12:19 PM ET

    *Hotel helps Paris compete against others luxury capitals. It is part of a battle to attract Asia's new class of super-rich that not only pits the world's top hotel groups against each other but also cities such as Paris, New York and London.

  • Grain mostly higher, beef and pork lower Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 | 10:59 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were mostly higher Thursday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Sept delivery was 3 cents higher at $5.3025 a bushel; Sept corn was 4.75 cents lower at 3.57 a bushel; Dec oats were. 75 cent higher at $3.3050 a bushel; while Nov soybeans rose. 75 cent to $10.82 a bushel.

  • July 31- Bunge Ltd, one of the world's largest agricultural trading houses, on Thursday reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings as strong demand and record large soybean crops in the Southern Hemisphere bolstered oilseed processing margins.

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

    Though the U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent, the Gallup Organization has found that consumers' view of the economy is the glummest it's been in seven months. 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.