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  • NEW YORK-- Sears Holdings Corp. said that its hiring of seasonal workers for the crucial winter holidays will be unchanged from a year ago.

  • GOLDEN MOVE: The price of gold hit a nine-month high after the head of Europe's central bank suggested that its bond-buying plan could benefit Spain. The bank also left its key interest rate for countries that use the euro at 0.75 percent to try to promote growth. DOLLAR'S IMPACT: Most commodities finished higher, in part because of a weaker dollar.

  • BRASILIA, Brazil-- Brazil says it will grant tax breaks to companies that produce safer and more fuel-efficient cars. Next year, all cars made in Brazil must have air bags and ABS brakes. Brazil is the world's seventh-largest motor vehicle producer.

  • SUBTLE HINT: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi nudged Spain and its European partners to take up bank's offer of help with high debt costs, reassuring Madrid that the conditions for getting the assistance "don't need to be punitive."

  • The price of gold is at a nine-month high after the head of the European Central Bank suggested that its bond-buying program could benefit Spain. Gold for December delivery rose $16.70 Thursday to finish at $1,796.50 per ounce, the highest level since late February.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Rain that fell across much of Oklahoma last weekend helped to slightly reduce the severity of exceptional drought in the state. Drought Monitor report released Thursday shows 28 percent of the state in exceptional drought _ the worst category.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Recent rain that fell across parts of Arkansas last weekend helped to slightly reduce the severity of drought in the state. Drought Monitor report released Thursday just less than 9 percent of the state in exceptional drought _ the worst category.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Informatica Corp. tumbled Thursday after the business software maker forecast weak results in the third quarter, pointing to its struggling business in Europe. Informatica said it expects adjusted net income of 25 to 27 cents per share and $189 million to $191 million in revenue in the third quarter.

  • BRISTOL, Conn.-- Bobby Valentine's next move after being fired as Boston Red Sox manager? Spokesman Josh Krulewitz said Thursday that the network is was happy with its current crew of baseball analysts. ESPN is a unit of The Walt Disney Co..

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- CollabRx, which develops technology that is used in genetic-based medicine, is teaming up with Life Technologies Corp. in a molecular diagnostics collaboration focused on cancer patients.

  • CHICAGO-- Several environmental groups want the Illinois Pollution Control Board to order Midwest Generation to clean up groundwater pollution that allegedly leached from coal-ash ponds at four of the company's power plants.

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- The mother of a slain Little Rock TV anchor can proceed with a lawsuit claiming outrageous behavior by a hospital and three workers who illegally looked at her daughter's medical files, but an invasion of privacy claim must be dropped, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

  • THESSALONIKI, Greece-- Greek police say a former government official has been found hanged in his home in central Greece. Leonidas Tzanis, 57, a former Socialist lawmaker and deputy interior minister from 1999 to 2001, was found dead by his wife late Thursday in the town of Volos, a police official said.

  • New Jersey residents receiving Medicaid benefits may find it easier to get care at home rather than move into a nursing home, under changes state officials are planning since getting federal approval to make them. The state will receive the same amount of money from the federal Medicaid program _ more than $5 billion per year.

  • MEDINA, Ohio-- RPM International Inc. said Thursday that its board raised the company's regular quarterly cash dividend by 1 cent, to 22.5 cents. The new dividend, which represents a 4.7 percent increase, will be paid on Oct. 31 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 15. Shares of the Medina, Ohio- based rose 19 cents to $27.21 in afternoon trading.

  • JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-- Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin on Thursday released a decade's worth of federal financial reports he has updated with nearly $130,000 in state pension income that he received, but failed to disclose, over that time.