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PARIS, May 23- Christine Lagarde has made her mark as International Monetary Fund chief by taking a firm yet pragmatic stance in the austerity-versus-growth debate raging as Europe struggles to pull itself out of a long crisis.
*China manufacturing data shows contraction. NEW YORK, May 23- U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its first daily back-to-back declines in a month, amid investor concerns the U.S. Federal Reserve may begin to taper its stimulus measures and over weak data in China.
BRUSSELS, May 23- Lufthansa, United Airlines, Continental and Air Canada won approval from EU antitrust regulators on Thursday for their transatlantic tie-up after agreeing to give up airport slots in Frankfurt and New York.
*Delta eyes chances to ship jet fuel to Midwest markets. And it expect costs will fall further as Delta ramps up supplies of cheap crude to the refinery from the Bakken play in North Dakota.
NEW YORK, May 22- New Hampshire's House of Representatives rejected a bill on Wednesday that would have authorized the construction of the state's first casino, bucking a regional trend toward easing restrictions on gaming in New England.
WASHINGTON/ NEW YORK, May 22- Dish Network Corp is ramping up its Washington- centric campaign to thwart Japanese firm SoftBank Corp's bid for Sprint Nextel Corp, hoping to convince lawmakers and government reviewers that it poses national security risks.
*Clearwire says Sprint offer best option, sets May 31 vote. Clearwire announced its decision to support majority shareholder Sprint a day after Sprint raised its offer for the almost 50 percent of the company it does not already own to $3.40 per share from $2.97 per share.
Comcast Corp. fell$. 45 or 1.1 percent, to $41.78. Walt Disney Co. fell$. 26 or. 4 percent, to $65.57. Gannett fell$. 39 or 1.8 percent, to $21.15.
Kelly Services Inc. class A fell$. 35 or 2.0 percent, to $17.31. Korn/Ferry International Inc. fell$. 13 or. 7 percent, to $17.59. ManpowerGroup rose$. 08 or. 1 percent, to $58.23.
General Electric Co. rose$. 20 or. 8 percent, to $23.86. Snap-On fell $1.52 or 1.6 percent, to $90.76. Whirlpool Corp. fell $2.25 or 1.7 percent, to $128.72.
Cigna Corp. rose$. 36 or. 5 percent, to $67.96. Humana Inc. fell$. 35 or. 4 percent, to $79.17. UnitedHealth Group fell$. 59 or. 9 percent, to $62.28.
American Electric Power Co. fell$. 77 or 1.6 percent, to $48.59. Consolidated Edison Inc. Holding Co. fell $1.26 or 2.1 percent, to $59.61. Dominion Resources Inc. fell $1.43 or 2.4 percent, to $59.26.
Apollo Group fell$. 87 or 4.1 percent, to $20.61. Career Education Corp. fell$. 11 or 3.6 percent, to $2.94. DeVry fell$. 37 or 1.2 percent, to $30.83.
Canadian National Railway Co. fell$. 87 or. 8 percent, to $102.17. Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. fell $1.71 or 1.3 percent, to $134.71. Union Pacific fell$. 87 or. 5 percent, to $157.59.
ASB Bancorp Inc.: Approximately 100 shares changed hands, a 97.7 decrease from its 65- day average volume. The shares fell$. 01 or. 1 percent to $16.43. B Communcations Ltd.: Approximately 200 shares changed hands, a 94.8 decrease from its 65- day average volume.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. fell$. 80 or 1.3 percent, to $58.68. Marriott International Inc. fell$. 54 or 1.2 percent, to $42.77. Starwood Hotels& Resorts Worldwide Inc. fell$. 54 or. 8 percent, to $67.81.
Allergan fell$. 81 or. 8 percent, to $97.73. Baxter International Inc. fell$. 74 or 1.0 percent, to $72.30. Boston Scientific Corp. fell$. 10 or 1.1 percent, to $9.13.
Cleantech Solutions International Inc.: Approximately 13,393,600 shares changed hands, a 10,656.6 percent increase over its 65- day average volume. The shares rose $5.96 or 159.4 percent to $9.70. The shares fell$. 01 or. 1 percent to $9.89.
Caterpillar fell$. 40 or. 5 percent, to $87.70. Deere& Co. fell$. 76 or. 9 percent, to $86.83. Terex fell$. 88 or 2.5 percent, to $33.85.
Baxter International Inc. fell$. 74 or 1.0 percent, to $72.30. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. rose $2.34 or 5.3 percent, to $46.40. Hospira fell$. 52 or 1.4 percent, to $35.40.