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  • WASHINGTON, Oct 24- New U.S. single-family home sales surged in September to their highest level in nearly 2-1/ 2 years, further evidence the housing market recovery is gaining steam.

  • *Q3 adjusted EPS 71 cents vs Wall St view 66 cents. Oct 24- Media veteran Barry Diller's IAC/InteractiveCorp breezed past quarterly expectations on the strength of its search businesses such as Ask.com.

  • Boeing is cranking out planes faster, and it's paying off. Boeing has been speeding up production, aiming to get some of its newest planes out the door faster. Boeing's revenue from commercial planes jumped 28 percent to $12.19 billion in the most recent quarter.

  • PHILADELPHIA-- A man who drove an SUV onto an airport runway, forcing a passenger jet to abort its landing, was sentenced Wednesday to 16 months in prison and must pay $92,000 in restitution. Kenneth Mazik, 25, of Chadds Ford, crashed through a gate on March 1 and led police on a runway chase at speeds topping 100 mph.

  • PLANO, Texas-- Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.' s net income climbed 16 percent in the third quarter as the company continued to raise prices. The company, which makes 7 Up, Sunkist, Mott's and other drinks, earned $179 million, or 84 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That's up from $154 million, or 71 cents per share, a year ago.

  • Oct 24- Kennametal Inc's quarterly profit missed Wall Street estimates by a wide margin on Wednesday and the industrial toolmaker cut its sales and earnings outlook for the full year, citing slowing economies.

  • Oct 24- General Motors Co said the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette that goes on sale next year will get a new 450- horsepower V8 engine. The engine, designated LT1, displaces 6.2 liters and is the fifth generation of GM's ``small block'' V8 engine family.

  • IRVING, Texas-- Commercial Metals returned to a profit in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by lower costs. Revenue fell 16 percent to $1.88 billion from $2.24 billion, which missed Wall Street's estimate of $2.02 billion. For the full year, Commercial Metals Co. earned $207.5 million, or $1.78 per share.

  • Oct 24- Visa Inc said Charles Scharf, a former head of JPMorgan Chase& Co's retail financial services division, will succeed Joseph Saunders as chief executive. Scharf is currently managing director at One Equity Partners, which manages $10 billion of investments and commitments for JPMorgan Chase.

  • *France's Areva, Japan's Toshiba could benefit. BEIJING, Oct 24- China will approve a small number of new nuclear reactors before 2015 to be built only in coastal regions, the government said on Wednesday, as it unveiled a raft of measures to spur private investments in energy.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 24- General Dynamics Corp on Wednesday said uncertainty about future U.S. defense budgets affected government orders in its shorter-cycle businesses in the third quarter, driving the number of bids awaiting awards to record levels.

  • *Ireland set for return to modest economic growth. LONDON, Oct 24- The euro zone's most vulnerable economies, particularly Spain, face a much tougher 2013 than thought just three months ago, marked by prolonged recession and ever-rising unemployment, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

  • ATLANTA-- Oilfield-services provider RPC Inc. said Wednesday that third-quarter earnings fell 21 percent and revenue declined on lower natural gas prices. Net income in the quarter was $66 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $83.1 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 24- U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday as strong results from Boeing Co and positive data from China eased concerns about sluggish global growth. Boeing rose 2.1 percent to $74.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 19.55 points, or 0.65 percent, at 3,010.01.

  • JACKSON, Miss.-- Trustmark Corp. says profit in the third quarter of 2012 rose 10.9 percent from the same three months of 2011, as it paid less interest on deposits and set aside less money to cover future bad loans.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- German automaker Volkswagen AG is considering the introduction of a new midsize SUV for the North American market, and its existing Tennessee plant is a contender for building it.

  • Oct 24- Lockheed Martin Corp, the largest U.S. weapons maker, on Wednesday posted an 11 percent increase in third-quarter earnings, beating expectations by a wide margin, and raised its full-year forecast. It raised its 2012 earnings forecast to a range of $8.20 to $8.40 from a range of $7.90 to $8.10.

  • NORTHFIELD, Ill.-- Shares of specialty chemical maker Stepan Co. tumbled nearly 6 percent Wednesday after the company's third-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates. But shares fell $5.71, or 5.9 percent, to $91.08 in afternoon trading. Stepan reported net income of $20.2 million, or $1.78 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

  • *Nigeria loses out on $29 bln on cut-price gas deals-report. ABUJA, Oct 24- Nigeria lost out on tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues over the last decade from cut price deals struck between multinational oil companies and government officials, a confidential report seen by Reuters says.

  • DUBAI/ ABU DHABI, Oct 24- An official document clarifying ultimate responsibility for new debt issuance by Abu Dhabi's government-related entities aims to eliminate any risk of a Dubai-style debt crisis in the emirate.