*Fighting has surged in eastern Ukraine. *Putin blames Kiev but could see gains. MOSCOW, Jan 28- Boxed into a corner by a financial crisis and the West's refusal to drop sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has come out fighting.» Read More
NEW YORK/ LONDON, Nov 2- Cocoa futures climbed on Friday, passing above technical support levels and bucking weakness in other commodities, as some exports were blocked and purchases in the main West African growing region were slow.
*U.S. grants Jones Act waivers to ease East Coast crunch. NEW YORK, Nov 2- Oil and gasoline futures fell on Friday on signs that disruptions to U.S. East Coast fuel supplies caused by super storm Sandy would ease soon, and on uncertainty about the upcoming U.S. election.
WASHINGTON-- The IRS is extending filing and payment deadlines for taxpayers living in areas of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey affected by Superstorm Sandy.
DECATUR, Ala.-- An Alabama utility crew heading to New Jersey has returned home, claiming it had to affiliate with a union to help with the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy. But union officials, a New Jersey utility company and the governor say they were are mistaken.
BOGOTA, Nov 2- Colombia's markets regulator said on Friday it was taking administrative control of the country's biggest stock brokerage when it failed to make a bank payment, while policymakers reassured investors their money was safe.
Pierre Henri-Flamand, the ex- Goldman Sachs trader turned founder, blamed ``unprecedented market conditions''. Greg Coffey, one of the industry's best known figures, decided to retire early and liquidate one of his funds at Moore Capital, sources said earlier this month.
*Dollar on pace for best week in 3-1/ 2 months vs yen. NEW YORK, Nov 2- The dollar rose to a more than six-month peak against the yen and a three-week high versus the euro on Friday after data showed the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected last month.
Nov 2- Ally Financial Inc, the auto lender 74 percent- owned by the U.S. government, posted a third-quarter profit compared with a year-ago loss, helped by its car-loan and mortgage businesses. The Detroit- based company, once the auto lending arm of General Motors Co, said it earned $384 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of $210 million a year earlier.
Nov 1- New York's Metropolitan Transporation Authority on Thursday quelled some market concerns that its already strapped finances could be further strained by cleanup costs after the massive storm Sandy flooded streets and subways.
Nov 2- Thomson Reuters Corp reported on Friday a 15 percent fall in operating profit because of declining revenue and higher costs at its division that serves the financial industry.
Waiver lasts through Nov. 13. WASHINGTON, Nov 2- The U.S. government issued a temporary blanket waiver on Friday of the Jones Act, which will allow foreign-flagged oil tankers from the Gulf of Mexico help supply the Northeast with fuel after Hurricane Sandy shut two New Jersey refineries.
NEW YORK, Nov 2- Looking for gas in places that have been hit hard by Sandy? Instead of waiting in line, go online. ``As soon as someone gives us a lead, they follow it and get there, and there's not always gas,'' says Michael Sandler, a lawyer who started the znjgas Twitter account earlier this year to monitor gas prices in his area.
LONDON/ FRANKFURT, Nov 2- European banks will dominate the group of lenders required to hold extra capital to protect the global financial system, despite moves to shrink their businesses in response to the region's debt crisis. Eight are from the United States, and four are from Asia.
LIMA, Nov 2- Peru's constitutional court plans to require the government to finally honor land reform bonds it issued 40 years ago but in most cases never paid, a ruling that could be worth billions of dollars to bondholders in Peru and abroad.
WASHINGTON, Nov 2- The contentious U.S.- China trade relationship has been a major issue in the U.S. race for the White House, with President Barack Obama defending his record and Republican challenger Mitt Romney promising tougher tactics if elected.
Stocks are ending sharply lower on Wall Street as investors assess the potential costs of Superstorm Sandy. AIG fell 7 percent, Genworth Financial 3 percent and Hartford Financial Services Group lost 3 percent. Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange.
NEW YORK, Nov 2- The miles-long lines of New York area motorists scrambling for gasoline showed no signs of abating on Friday, with ``panic buying'' gripping the storm-hit area even as pipelines and oil tankers began to resume bulk shipments.
WASHINGTON, Nov 2- U.S. employers stepped up hiring in October and the jobless rate ticked higher as more workers restarted job hunts, a hopeful sign for a lackluster economy that has been a drag on President Barack Obama's re-election chances. Employers added 171,000 people to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday.
Industry data published on Friday showed that France incurred its 12th straight monthly decline in new car registrations, while demand in Spain continued to plummet.
*Adjusted EPS $1.33 vs. analyst estimate $1.30. Nov 2- The McGraw-Hill Cos Inc reported a 14 percent decline in third-quarter profits as a rebound in new bond issues needing credit ratings failed to make up for corporate restructuring costs and weak demand for educational texts.