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  • *Ratings downgrades hit bonds and credit default swaps. LONDON, Oct 24- Investors demanded higher yields to hold Tesco's debt on Friday while the cost of insuring against default rose sharply after ratings downgrades left Britain's biggest grocer hovering just above junk status. "The ratings remain on review for downgrade because Tesco has not yet announced...

  • MOSCOW, Oct 24- Standard& Poor's ratings agency affirmed Russia's sovereign rating on Friday at a notch above junk status, warning a downgrade may follow if more sanctions are imposed on Moscow for its role in the Ukrainian conflict. S&P also said another cut might come if Russia's monetary policy or exchange-rate flexibility weakens. Russian Finance Minister...

  • Federal prosecutors in New York said David Post, 41, a product manager at the bank, received nonpublic information from a former Rutgers Business School classmate about three companies: Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Ardea BioSciences and ViroPharma Inc.. Prosecutors did not name the classmate, but on Oct. 14 they charged Zachary Zwerko, a former senior finance...

  • Venezuelans brace for slump in oil prices Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:39 PM ET

    CARACAS, Venezuela— The falling oil prices that are providing relief to drivers around the world threaten to bring more misery to the life of Milagro Alvarez and millions of other Venezuelans, whose country depends almost exclusively on oil revenue. Now Venezuela is suddenly a lot less rich, and many fear those lines will just get longer. In Venezuela, where 95...

  • Fitch upgrades Delta's credit rating Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:36 PM ET

    CHICAGO— Fitch is upgrading Delta's credit rating, citing its improved balance sheet, solid operating performance and better-than-expected free cash flow. Fitch boosted Delta Air Lines Inc.' s issuer default rating one notch in junk status to "BB" from "BB-." The Atlanta company's stock added $1.11, or 2.9 percent, to $39.03 in Friday afternoon trading.

  • Congress passed the trade restriction in the 1970 s after the Arab oil embargo caused fears of domestic oil shortages. The group of 14 producers has "united to create an advocacy initiative to help repeal the outdated ban on crude oil exports," Daren Beaudo, a spokesman for ConocoPhillips, one of the member companies, said in an email. The U.S. drilling boom of the past...

  • *Amazon tumbles, Microsoft climbs after earnings. NEW YORK, Oct 24- U.S. stocks advanced on Friday, as earnings from Microsoft and Procter& Gamble coupled with easing concerns over the possible spread of Ebola in the United States helped put the S&P on track to snap a four-week losing skid. Microsoft was up 1.7 percent at $45.91, after it reported...

  • NEW YORK/ LONDON, Oct 24- Gold edged lower on Friday and was set to close down for the week as rallying equity markets and strong U.S. economic data dented demand for the precious metal as an insurance against risk. COMEX gold futures outperformed spot, up $2.70 at $1,231.80 an ounce. Gold's weekly loss was also triggered by a resurgent dollar.

  • France OKs extradition of dissident Kazakh banker Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:20 PM ET

    PARIS— A French appeals court has authorized the extradition to Russia or Ukraine of a Kazakh dissident banker whose legal case is tangled up in at least five countries. Mukhtar Ablyazov fled Kazakhstan amid the nationalization of BTA Bank, which he once led as chairman. He was arrested in southern France in July 2013 and both Russia and Ukraine have requested...

  • TORONTO, Oct 24- Ford Motor Co has rejected a pitch to make a new investment in its Windsor, Ontario, plants and decided to put the money in Mexico as the company originally planned, the head of Canada's main auto workers' union said on Friday. In a release, Unifor said the program would have created 1,000 new jobs in Windsor, one of Canada's auto manufacturing hubs,...

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 24- The U.S. Federal Communications Commission expects a major auction of low-frequency airwaves to be pushed back to early 2016 from mid-2015, an FCC official said in a blog post on Friday. The FCC has been working on rules for the so-called incentive auction in which wireless carriers would get the first opportunity since 2008 to purchase...

  • Midday Glance: Airlines companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Delta Air rose $1.12 or 3.0 percent, to $39.04. JetBlue Airways Corp. rose$. 05 or. 4 percent, to $10.91. Southwest Airlines Co. rose$. 43 or 1.3 percent, to $33.68.

  • Midday Glance: Telecom companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Shares of some top telecom companies are up at 1 p.m.:. AT&T Inc. rose$. 11 or. 3 percent, to $33.77. Verizon Communications Inc. rose$. 53 or 1.1 percent, to $48.75.

  • Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage decreases Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Layne Christensen Co. fell 26.3 percent to $6.01. Synaptics Inc. fell 15.3 percent to $62.04. Hub Group Inc. fell 13.1 percent to $33.91.

  • Midday Glance: Staffing companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Kelly Services Inc. class A rose$. 14 or. 8 percent, to $16.64. Korn/Ferry International Inc. fell$. 28 or 1.0 percent, to $26.78. ManpowerGroup rose$. 04 or. 1 percent, to $64.08.

  • Midday Glance: Biotechnology companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Amgen Inc. fell $1.41 or 1.0 percent, to $145.84. Biogen Idec rose $3.09 or 1.0 percent, to $319.15. Celgene Corp. rose $2.15 or 2.1 percent, to $102.55.

  • Midday Glance: Drugstore companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Shares of some top drugstore companies are mixed at 1 p.m.:. Rite Aid fell$. 06 or 1.2 percent, to $4.80. Walgreen rose$. 40 or. 6 percent, to $62.47.

  • Midday Glance: Silver companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Hecla Mining Co. rose$. 01 or. 2 percent, to $2.38. Pan American Silver Corp. fell$. 12 or 1.1 percent, to $10.60. Silver Standard Resources Inc. fell$. 04 or. 7 percent, to $5.35.

  • Midday Glance: Supermarkets companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Kroger fell$. 14 or. 3 percent, to $54.15. Safeway fell$. 01 or percent, to $34.10. Supervalu fell$. 04 or. 5 percent, to $8.07.

  • Midday Glance: Computer companies Friday, 24 Oct 2014 | 1:17 PM ET

    Apple Inc s rose$. 01 or percent, to $104.84. Hewlett Packard Co. fell$. 09 or. 2 percent, to $34.86. International Business Machines Corp. fell$. 42 or. 3 percent, to $161.76.