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  • Jan 8- Global commodities trader Cargill Inc reported a 41 percent jump in quarterly profit on Thursday as a record-large U.S. harvest lowered grain prices and boosted both domestic and export demand while bolstering margins on meat sales. The privately held company, based in Minnesota, reported net earnings of $784 million for the second quarter ended Nov. 30,...

  • *Family Dollar falls after earnings. *Brent crude holds above $51 a barrel. "Jobless claims they were about in line, maybe a little weaker than expected but the jobs market still points to jobs growth," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.

  • NEW YORK, Jan 8- The U.S. weather forecaster on Thursday projected a 50 percent to 60 percent chance of El Nino conditions during the next two months, with neutral conditions favored thereafter.

  • WASHINGTON, Jan 8- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week and job cuts declined for a second straight month in December, adding to signs of a strengthening labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 294,000 for the week ended Jan. 3, the Labor Department said...

  • Total enrollments at Apollo's flagship University of Phoenix dropped 20.4 percent to 592,853 in the quarter ended Nov. 30. Corinthian Colleges Inc and ITT Educational Services are under the U.S. government's scrutiny over their student loans and placement rates. Phoenix, Arizona-based Apollo forecast revenue of $580 million- $595 million for the second...

  • Jan 8- An experimental drug being developed by AbbVie Inc and Neurocrine Biosciences Inc successfully reduced symptoms of endometriosis in pre-menopausal women in the first of two late-stage studies. Neurocrine's stock soared 24 percent to $27.20 in premarket trading on Thursday, while AbbVie's shares were up 1.7 percent at $68.10. After six months of...

  • Jan 8- Teen apparel retailers American Eagle Outfitters Inc and Aeropostale Inc raised their estimates for the holiday shopping quarter as margins improved due to fewer discounts. Aeropostale said it still expected to report a loss, but less than it had forecast. American Eagle's shares were up 2.5 percent at $15 premarket, while Aeropostale's were up 7.5...

  • MOSCOW, Jan 8- The rouble and Moscow stocks rose strongly on Thursday after gains in the price of oil, whose sharp decline of recent months has pummelled Russian assets. The Russian currency fell over 10 percent on Monday as crude, Russia's main export, tumbled. "USD/RUS can't find the strength to go below the 60- level, and it is all the fault of the Brent price," Forex...

  • Constellation, whose brands include Robert Mondavi and Rex Goliath wines and Svedka vodka, said in October it was expanding capacity at its Nava brewery in Mexico. Victor, New York- based Constellation raised its adjusted profit forecast for the year ending Feb. 28 to $4.25- $4.35 per share from $4.10- $4.25 per share. Constellation's net income rose to $222...

  • U.S. jobless claims dip, point to firming labor market Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 | 8:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Jan 8- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, adding to signs of a strengthening labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 294,000 for the week ended Jan. 3, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims...

  • BERLIN, Jan 8- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that EU sanctions against Russia tied to its intervention in eastern Ukraine could only be lifted if there was full implementation of the Minsk agreement signed between Kiev and pro-Russian rebels back in September. Speaking at a news conference in Berlin with visiting Ukraine Prime Minister...

  • Jan 8- An experimental drug being developed by AbbVie Inc and Neurocrine Biosciences Inc successfully reduced symptoms of endometriosis in premenopausal women in the first of two late-stage studies. Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the womb, leading to chronic pelvic pain. After six months of treatment, both doses of the...

  • Pioneer says four rig contracts terminated Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 | 8:23 AM ET

    Jan 8- Pioneer Energy Services Corp said it received early termination notices for contracts for four rigs in the first quarter, as oil companies continue to cut back on capital spending. The company also said it expected to idle seven more rigs in the next month, with two more going offline by the end of the quarter. Pioneer said it expected 89 percent of its rigs to...

  • *Family Dollar falls in premarket after earnings. *Brent crude holds above $51 a barrel. NEW YORK, Jan 8- U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, putting equities on track for a second day of gains after the S&P 500 snapped a five-day losing skid and ahead of data on the labor market.

  • *Bourse merger speculation lifts Dubai's DFM. DUBAI, Jan 8- Gulf stock markets extended gains on Thursday after oil rebounded slightly from its Wednesday low and several companies made positive announcements. Supported by a fall in U.S. crude oil inventories, Brent futures traded above $51 per barrel on Thursday after briefly dropping below $50 in the previous...

  • EU proposes up to 1.8 bln euro in new loans to Ukraine Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 | 8:07 AM ET

    BRUSSELS, Jan 8- The European Union promised more help for Ukraine's near-bankrupt economy on Thursday, proposing up to 1.8 billion euros in medium-term loans to be granted this year and in early 2016, the EU executive said. The proposal by the European Commission must be approved by EU governments and the European Parliament. "Europe stands united behind...

  • Family Dollar is being pursued by both Dollar General Corp and Dollar Tree Inc, which see an acquisition of the company as way to help fend off rising competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Amazon.com Inc.. Family Dollar has agreed to be bought by smaller rival Dollar Tree for about $8.5 billion in cash and stock, saying Dollar General's $9.1 billion all-cash...

  • Jan 8- For-profit education provider Apollo Education Group's quarterly profit plunged nearly 66 percent as student enrollments fell. New degreed enrollments at Apollo's flagship University of Phoenix fell 5 percent to 39,600 in the first quarter. Net income attributable to Apollo fell to $33.8 million, or 31 cents per share, in the quarter ended Nov. 30 from...

  • *Strong demand growth in China. BERLIN, Jan 8- Weakening economies in Asia and Africa could dampen demand for international air travel this year, taking the gloss off the positive effects of cheaper oil for the global airline industry, a leading industry body said on Thursday. That was slightly less than the 6 percent growth achieved for the entire market, which was...

  • The company's shares fell 10 percent to $14.75 in premarket trading on Thursday. Infinity said Duvelisib, which is being developed with AbbVie Inc in oncology, will still be tested to treat various types of blood cancer. Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects about 1.5 million in the United States, occurs when the immune system attacks the body's tissues, causing...