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  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Rhode Island's unemployment rate fell in September for the fifth straight month to its lowest level in three-and-a-half years. The state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday the jobless rate fell to 10.5 percent, down from 10.7 in August.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- Aspen Dental Management and the private equity firm that controls it illegally operate dental clinics across the country and engage in aggressive, misleading profit-driven practices that cause patients economic harm, claims a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in New York.

  • A sharp drop in Google's stock dragged the Nasdaq composite down 1 percent after a weak earnings report for the company was inadvertently released hours ahead of schedule. The Nasdaq lost 31 points to close at 3,073. An 8 percent drop in Google, the third-largest component in the Nasdaq after Apple and Microsoft, was a big factor.

  • NEW YORK-- Google plummeted almost $80 per share, more than 10 percent, and trading in the stock was halted two and a half hours Thursday after a disappointing earnings report was published ahead of schedule and surprised investors. Google was trading at $754 per share at 12:30 p.m. EDT, then fell almost $20 in a minute after investors saw the report, a draft.

  • CHICAGO-- Shares of USG Corp. rose Thursday after the building products maker said its third-quarter loss shrank. In the three months ended Sept. 30, the Chicago company reported a loss of $29 million, or 28 cents per share.

  • SCRAPPING: European Union leaders are tussling at a Brussels summit over how much power to cede to central authorities to ensure their debt crisis never repeats itself.

  • The report was compiled by the Office of Servicemember Affairs within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The office was created in Congress' Wall Street reform legislation so it could better coordinate with other federal and state agencies on consumer protection issues, as well as be an ombudsman for student loans.

  • BOSTON-- Investment manager Eaton Vance Corp. said Thursday that its board of directors approved a 5.3 percent increase to its quarterly dividend. The company will pay 20 cents per share to shareholders on Nov. 14 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 31. Eaton Vance shares rose 5 cents to $29.19 in afternoon trading.

  • DETROIT-- Harley-Davidson Inc. rose Thursday after a Goldman Sachs analyst upgraded the shares, telling investors that the low price and looming motorcycle sales increases make the shares attractive. Analyst Patrick Archambault upgraded Harley from "Neutral" to "Buy," and raised his six-month price target by $3 to $54.

  • NEW YORK-- Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets rose $5.84 billion to $2.568 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets of the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell $940 million to $886.05 billion, the Washington- based mutual fund trade group said Thursday.

  • LOUISVILLE, Ky.-- General Motors Co. plans to idle Corvette production in Kentucky for six months to prepare for the next generation of the iconic car. The automaker is preparing to retool its assembly plant in Bowling Green for the 2014 model.

  • Brazil and Argentina are huge producers of corn and soybeans. Although it's still early in the season, investors have shifted their focus from concerns about demand in the slower global economy to questions about supplies, said Mike Zuzolo, president of Global Commodity Analytics and Consulting LLC.

  • TRENTON, N.J.-- New Jersey's unemployment rate ticked down a notch to 9.8 percent in September, even as the state shed 1,200 jobs for the month.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of MGM Resorts International climbed Thursday after the company said its Chinese arm signed a deal for land to build a massive new casino in the world's biggest gambling market. MGM China, which signed the deal, is a joint venture between Las Vegas- based MGM Resorts International and Pansy Ho, daughter of Macau casino kingpin Stanley Ho.

  • IRVING, Texas-- The average price of gasoline in Texas has fallen 4 cents to $3.51. The weekly AAA Texas survey released Thursday shows that drivers in El Paso and Amarillo are paying the highest prices for regular unleaded at an average of $3.55. Drivers in Texas are paying 23 cents less than the national average of $3.74.

  • WESTFORD, Mass.-- Shares of NetScout Systems Inc., which sells products that gauge computer network performance, rose as much as 7 percent Thursday after the company reported a 41 percent jump in fiscal second-quarter earnings. NetScout made $9.9 million, or 23 cents per share, compared with $7.1 million, of 17 cents per share a year ago.

  • NEW YORK-- Select Comfort Corp. shares fell Thursday after the mattress company issued a disappointing revenue prediction for the full year. THE SPARK: Select Comfort said late Wednesday that its third-quarter profit jumped 52 percent on stronger sales.

  • Morgan Stanley's clients are waiting on the fiscal cliff. Companies don't want to act until they know what's going to happen with the fiscal cliff, which is when higher taxes and lower government spending are supposed to kick in next year unless Congress can work out a compromise before then.

  • Travelers Cos. said Thursday that its net income jumped to $864 million, or $2.21 per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30. That compares with net income of $333 million, or 79 cents per share, in the same period last year. Investors sent shares in the New York company up $2.45, or 3.4 percent, to $73.83 in afternoon trading.

  • TRENTON, N.J.-- Shares of RR Donnelley fell and then partially recovered Thursday amid news the printer and communications consultant had mistakenly filed a draft version of client Google Inc.' s third-quarter financial results to the Securities and Exchange Commission hours before the final version was to be submitted.