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  • APNewsBreak: Medicare bought meds for dead people Friday, 31 Oct 2014 | 3:11 AM ET

    A report coming out Friday from the Health and Human Services Department's inspector general says 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...

  • 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.

  • *NHTSA sets Dec. 1 deadline for Takata documents. DETROIT, Oct 30- U.S. auto safety regulators on Thursday ordered Japanese supplier Takata Corp to provide documents and answer questions under oath related to the government's ongoing probe of potentially defective Takata air bags in millions of U.S. vehicles. Takata spokesman Alby Berman said on Thursday the...

  • LONDON, Oct 30- The new head of French energy major Total challenged Europe to fight Washington over the U.S. oil export ban, in his first public appearance since his predecessor Christophe de Margerie was killed in a Moscow plane crash last week. "I hope the European Commission raises this issue... the refiners in Europe and Asia are suffering from one rule.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 30- Around a third of the economists at the Federal Reserve's Washington headquarters are women, a figure in line with women's representation in the profession nationally, according to a Reuters analysis of Fed employee data. She said promoting diversity among the 300 economists at the Fed's Washington- based board and the 400 economists at its...

  • Insurers have big plans for 2015 Obamacare enrollment Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 1:01 PM ET

    Oct 30- U.S. insurers planning to sell 2015 Obamacare health plans expect at least 20 percent growth in customers and in some states anticipate more than doubling sign-ups. With the start of enrollment barely two weeks away, their assessment is dramatically different from a year ago, when it was unclear how many Americans would apply for the brand new insurance...

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 30- A smaller trade deficit and surge in defense spending buoyed U.S. economic growth in the third quarter, but domestic demand slipped, hinting at some loss of momentum. Gross domestic product grew at a 3.5 percent annual pace, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. "The report was broadly constructive, but with weakness emerging in housing and...

  • Online stores fight Amazon for piece of retail pie Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 12:55 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Amazon has a place in many Americans' lives because of its low prices and seemingly endless array of goods. But Amazon— which commands about 20 percent of all U.S. e-commerce— has its own problems, too. Here are ways to have an Amazon- like shopping experience while avoiding the behemoth itself.

  • FTC accuses Gerber of false claim on baby formula Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 11:24 AM ET

    "We are defending our position because we believe we have met, and will continue to meet, all legal requirements to make these product claims," said Kevin Goldberg, vice president and general counsel for the New Jersey- based company. The FDA agreed, but only if Gerber qualified its statement by making clear that there was "little scientific evidence" for the...

  • 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.

  • Average US 30-year loan rate up to 3.98 pct. Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 10:33 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates arrested their five-week decline this week but the benchmark 30- year loan remained below 4 percent. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30- year mortgage rose to 3.98 percent from 3.92 percent last week. Applications for "re-fi's" jumped 23 percent in the week ended Oct. 17—...

  • FTI Consulting tops Street 3Q forecasts Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 10:06 AM ET

    WASHINGTON _ FTI Consulting Inc. on Thursday reported earnings of $22.5 million in its third quarter. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 41 cents per share. FTI Consulting expects full-year earnings in the range of $1.85 to $2 per share, with revenue in the range of $1.76 billion to $1.77 billion.

  • Yellen: Awareness of economists' diversity needed Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 9:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says she wants to raise awareness of the need for diversity among economists, with relatively few women and minorities still choosing to major in economics in college. Yellen, who is the first woman to head the central bank in its 100- year history, was speaking Thursday at a conference on diversity in the economics...

  • Dupont Fabros reports 3Q results Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 9:27 AM ET

    WASHINGTON _ Dupont Fabros Technology Inc. on Thursday reported a key measure of profitability in its third quarter. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for funds from operations of 61 cents per share. For the current quarter ending in December, Dupont Fabros expects its per-share funds from operations to range from 61...

  • Applications for US jobless aid tick up to 287,000 Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 8:36 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, but remained at historically low levels that signal a strengthening job market. Weekly applications increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. "There continues to be no sign in these very timely data of weaker global growth or...

  • First marijuana planted for medical use in Chile Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 7:14 AM ET

    The 850 seeds were imported from the Netherlands, and oil extracted from about half of the plants will be given to 200 patients selected by a municipality in the capital of Santiago and by the Daya Foundation, a nonprofit group that sponsors pain-relieving therapies. "We're living at a time, in Chile and the rest of the world, where it's not reasonable to close...

  • Ahead of the Bell: US Unemployment Benefits Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 | 6:23 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— The U.S. Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The report will be released Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. HEALTHY JOB GAINS: The decline in applications has coincided with robust hiring this year.