HONG KONG, Sept 3- Hong Kong's benchmark index made its largest daily gain in 9-1/ 2 months on Wednesday to close at its highest level since May 2008, while China's onshore markets took heart from upbeat results of two surveys on service sector activity.» Read More
CHARLESTON, S.C.-- Settlement talks involving attorneys in a federal lawsuit over the $650 million deepening of the Savannah River shipping channel have been delayed. Environmentalists say the deepening work needs a South Carolina pollution permit because it will mean toxic cadmium will be dredged from the river and deposited on the South Carolina shore.
Oil supplies grew last week by 5.9 million barrels, or 1.6 percent, the Energy Department said. Benchmark oil fell $1.04 or 1.2 percent, to $85.63 per barrel. Brent crude fell 11 cents to $108.14 per barrel in London.
*Group beer volumes fall in western Europe, rise elsewhere. *Shares down 2.6 pct, among weakest in Europe. BRUSSELS, Oct 24- Heineken NV, the world's third-largest brewer, reported stronger than expected third-quarter group revenue on Wednesday, boosted by U.S. and emerging market strength and price hikes, but investors focused on weakness in Europe.
LONDON, Oct 24- Bankers will likely pick up $30- $50 million for their work on Russian state-owned oil group Rosneft's $55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, according to Freeman Consulting. Data from Thomson Reuters and Freeman showed fees average about $35 million on $10 billion deals, smaller than the TNK-BP.
Oct 24- Jones Group Inc, the fashion company behind such brands as Nine West and Jones New York, reported a higher quarterly profit before special items, helped by a rise in sales to U.S. department stores that helped it overcome a steep drop in business at its own stores in the United States. Sales of shoes to chains such as Macy's Inc rose 10.1 percent.
THE SPARK: Goldman Sachs analyst Joshua Pollard raised his rating on Whirlpool to "Buy" from "Sell" and nearly doubled his six-month price target on the shares, raising it to $110 from $57. THE BACKGROUND: On Tuesday Whirlpool Corp.' s stock touched $94.34, the highest level since July 2010.
*China data points to strengthening recovery. *Dow Chemical to cut jobs. NEW YORK, Oct 24- U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday, indicating indexes may bounce from declines a day earlier when the Dow suffered its biggest drop in four months, following data from China that eased concerns about sluggish global growth.
The College Board says the sticker price of in-state tuition at four-year public universities climbed an average of roughly $400 this fall to $8,655, an increase of nearly 5 percent. New Jersey has the third-highest published in-state tuition charges, at more than $12,000.
However, earnings for Dallas- based Brinker International Inc. missed expectations, sending its shares down $2.81, more than 8 percent, to $30.63 Wednesday morning. Brinker, which also has a stake in Romano's Macaroni Grill, said Wednesday that it earned $27.9 million, or 36 cents per share for the three months ended Sept. 26.
CHEYENNE, Wyo.-- Wyoming's unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in September. Sublette County reported the state's lowest jobless rate last month at 3 percent, followed by Niobrara County at 3.2 percent, Converse at 3.6 percent and Campbell and Albany both at 3.7 percent.
NEWARK, N.J.-- The New York area's three major airports are experiencing record passenger traffic. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says traffic at LaGuardia, JFK and Newark Liberty airports increased by slightly more than 10 percent in August compared to a year ago.
Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Basin Electric Power Cooperative also provided funds for the $284,000 study. The state Industrial Commission said in a statement that the study provides valuable information that will be used in addressing the future power demand and infrastructure needs in 22 western North Dakota counties.
LONDON, Oct 24- London copper rose from a six-week low on signs of recovery in top consumer China, though gains were capped by weak euro zone data, including in Germany, and ahead of a Federal Reserve policy statement due later on Wednesday. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.51 percent to $7,871 a tonne by 1015 GMT.
BOISE, Idaho-- The state agency that regulates utilities has approved $42 million in expenses incurred by Idaho Power Co. to reduce demand and encourage smart energy use. But it's a sign the commission approves of the costs Idaho Power paid for operating 20 programs that were covered for by a 4 percent rider on bills.
Sheila Simon is advocating ways to keep college affordable as new research shows average student loan debt has topped $26,000. Simon presented ideas during a Tuesday visit to the University of Illinois Springfield. According to a Pew Research Center report released this month, students took on an average of about $26,700 in loans.
*Wheat up as Ukraine to ban wheat exports in Nov.
WALTHAM, Mass.-- Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.' s third-quarter earnings climbed 9 percent, helped by revenue growth in key segments, and the scientific instrument and laboratory supply maker raised its forecast for 2012.. The Waltham, Mass., company said Wednesday it earned $290.4 million, or 79 cents per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 29.
COLUMBUS, Ohio-- American Electric Power's net income fell 48 percent in the third quarter as customers' conservation efforts and a slow economy reduced demand for electricity. AEP earned $487 million, or $1 per share, on revenue of $4.16 billion.
MONROE, Mich.-- Steelmaker Gerdau is unveiling new machinery at a Michigan steel facility as part of the company's ongoing expansion. The company on Wednesday is marking the completion of construction of a continuous caster at its North American special steel facility in Monroe, about 35 miles southwest of Detroit.