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  • MEXICO CITY, Oct 31- Mexico and its main construction companies could help carry out a plan to spur economic growth and jobs in Central America to stem illegal immigration to the United States, a senior Mexican government official said on Friday. Struggling to stop a record flood of child migrants to the United States earlier this year, Guatemala, Honduras and El...

  • DIARY- Top Economic Events to Nov 14 Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 8:01 PM ET

    NEW YORK- Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher speaks on "Preparing to Normalize Monetary Policy" before a Shadow Open Market Committee meeting sponsored by the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy Research- 1740 GMT. CHICAGO- Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans gives welcome and opening remarks before the "...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S. authorities are investigating London- based Standard Chartered Plc for potential U.S. sanctions violations connected to its banking for Iranian-controlled entities in Dubai, according to people familiar with the probe. Investigators also learned that the company used to have an account with Standard Chartered, according to the source.

  • Medicare program's payment rate for hospital outpatient services will increase 2.3 percent in calendar year 2015, while the rate for ambulatory surgical services will rise 1.4 percent, the federal government announced on Friday. The Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and disabled will also begin to pay doctors a monthly fee to coordinate...

  • Figures on government spending and debt Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 4:00 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Figures on government spending and debt.

  • Spacecraft for tourists explodes on test flight Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 2:16 PM ET

    Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo blew apart after being released from a carrier aircraft at high altitude, according to Ken Brown, a photographer who witnessed the explosion. One pilot was found dead inside the spacecraft, which fell from the sky about 120 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. British billionaire Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, has...

  • US blacklists Myanmar ruling party lawmaker Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 12:12 PM ET

    Human rights activists step welcomed the action against Aung Thaung, who was industry minister under the former ruling junta and a leader of a pro-military organization blamed for mob attacks. The U.S. has rolled back most sanctions against the country also known as Burma as it has shifted from military rule since 2012. But to the chagrin of American companies...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- A divided U.S. appeals court rejected UBS AG's bid to force Nasdaq OMX Group Inc to arbitrate a dispute over the exchange operator's alleged "catastrophic mismanagement" of Facebook Inc's $16 billion initial public offering. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Friday said UBS' agreement with Nasdaq to help make a market for Facebook...

  • TAIPEI, Oct 31- Taiwan's president said in remarks published on Friday that the island needed the United States to help it develop an indigenous submarine programme. "We are still discussing this issue with the United States," President Ma Ying- jeou told The New York Times, reaffirming Taiwan's commitment to construct diesel-electric submarines to replace...

  • BUSINESS-NEWS-SCHEDULE AT 1500 GMT /11 AM ET Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 11:09 AM ET

    NEW YORK- During Morgan Stanley's public earnings call earlier this month, Chief Executive James Gorman made a remark that hit his commodities staff like a bombshell. Election-year water crisis taking a toll on Brazil's economy. SAO PAULO- After a grueling election campaign in which officials faced fierce criticism for downplaying the effects of a year-long...

  • US consumer sentiment index reaches 7-year high Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 10:36 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months, pushing a measure of confidence to a seven-year high in October. The University of Michigan said Friday that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 86.9 from 84.6 in September. "Market volatility, geopolitical tensions, and worries about the global economy...

  • US consumer spending down 0.2 percent in September Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 8:38 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— U.S. consumer cut spending in September for the first time in eight months, as incomes grew at the slowest pace this year. Consumer spending slipped 0.2 percent in September, the Commerce Department reported Friday, the weakest performance since an identical decline in January. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said he...

  • Pepco beats 3Q profit forecasts Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 7:27 AM ET

    WASHINGTON _ Pepco Holdings Inc. on Friday reported profit of $79 million in its third quarter. Pepco expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.17 to $1.27 per share. Pepco shares have risen 43 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard& Poor's 500 index has climbed roughly 8 percent.

  • Ahead of the Bell: US consumer spending Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 6:29 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The Commerce Department releases its September report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity. The report will be issued at 8:30 a.m. EDT Friday. SPENDING SLOWS: The expectation is that spending edged up a tiny 0.1 percent in September, according to a survey of economists by data firm FactSet.

  • TV space for campaign ads hard to find this late Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 3:36 AM ET

    MANCHESTER, N.H.— A Democratic super PAC wanted to run a 30- second ad during a Friday evening newscast on New Hampshire's one network station— and was even willing to shell out the $10,000 that the station demanded. Many of these groups want to keep spending in a final push before Tuesday's elections, as Democrats defend their Senate majority and Republicans...

  • Medicare paid for meds after patients were dead Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 3:11 AM ET

    A report released Friday by the Health and Human Services Department's inspector general said the Medicare rule allows payment for prescriptions filled up to 32 days after a patient's death— at odds with the program's basic principles, not to mention common sense. Medicare said it's working on a fix. Investigators examined claims from 2012 for a tiny sliver of...

  • SAN JUAN, Oct 30- Puerto Rico will begin overhauling its tax system and financially shoring up its highways and transportation authority in coming months, commonwealth officials said on Thursday, as the commonwealth fights to gain budget stability. Under the reforms, which were designed in consultation with KPMG at a cost of $4.7 million, Puerto Rico would...

  • Real-estate funds needn't be riled by rising rates Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 4:37 PM ET

    NEW YORK— The threat of rising interest rates is raising real fears about real-estate mutual funds. Investors have pulled money out of real-estate funds for two straight months, even though they remain among the year's best performers and pay bigger dividends than many stock funds. "One of the things you have to ask is why are rates rising," says John Wenker,...

  • NEW YORK, Oct 30- The dollar on Thursday extended recent gains to a 3-1/ 2- week high, boosted by unexpectedly strong third-quarter U.S. economic growth and a newly hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve. A U.S. Commerce Department report showed third-quarter gross domestic product grew by 3.5 percent versus the Reuters 3.0 percent mean forecast of economists.

  • Figures on government spending and debt Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 4:00 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Figures on government spending and debt.