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  • UPDATE 1-Allstate beats expectations, no mention of Sandy Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 8:23 PM ET

    Oct 31- Home and auto insurer Allstate Corp reported a larger profit for the third quarter on a decline in disaster losses and improving margins, but made no mention of potential impacts from the devastating Hurricane Sandy.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 31- It is no surprise that as the baby boom approaches its Social Security years, it is turning the decision about when to start collecting benefits from an automatic move into a major planning and research opportunity.

  • Visa authorizes $1.5 bln buyback, profit rises 89 percent Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 8:21 PM ET

    Oct 31- Visa Inc's fourth-quarter profit rose 89 percent and the world's largest credit and debit-card network authorized a new $1.5 billion share repurchase program and raised its dividend by 50 percent. Profit rose to $1.7 billion, or $2.47 per Class A share, from $880 million, or $1.28 per Class A share, a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S. stocks closed little changed on Wednesday after a forced two-day closure due to super storm Sandy, as gains in utilities and financial shares offset declines in the healthcare and technology sectors. The S&P 500 edged up 0.22 point, or 0.02 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,412.16.

  • Oct 31- JPMorgan Chase& Co, Citigroup Inc and Wells Fargo& Co said on Wednesday they have reopened more than half of the branches that were closed as Hurricane Sandy battered the U.S. East Coast early this week. JPMorgan said it had reopened 587 Chase branches, about 55 percent of the total in the states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

  • *New York, New Jersey each have more than 2 million out. At the storm's peak, 8.48 million customers were without power after Sandy came ashore with hurricane-force winds in New Jersey on Monday, according to Department of Energy data.

  • BOSTON, Oct 31- Some of Citigroup Inc's banking sites went down for about half an hour on Wednesday, making its online banking system temporarily inaccessible to customers, some of whom were housebound in the wake of giant storm Sandy.

  • *Stocks edge up as Wall Street reopens after two days. LONDON, Oct 31- Gold rose nearly 1 percent to its highest in a week on Wednesday as U.S. stock markets held firm after re-opening following Hurricane Sandy, but gold ended lower for the month, snapping four straight monthly gains.

  • *U.S. stocks near break-even as Wall Street reopens after 2- day closure. *Oil settles below $109 a barrel in face of potential supply rupture.

  • *EPA allows selling of ULSD with more than 15 ppm sulfur. NEW YORK, Oct 31- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday granted New Jersey a temporary waiver on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel requirements to help counter a shortfall in fuel supplies in parts of the state following Hurricane Sandy.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S.

  • Williams sells assets to partnership for $2.4B Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 7:40 PM ET

    TULSA, Okla.-- Williams Cos. Inc. said Wednesday it has agreed to sell an 83 percent stake in an olefins production facility and other assets to its business segment, Williams Partners LP, for $2.36 billion. Williams Partners also will acquire Williams' refinery- grade propylene splitter and pipelines in the Gulf region.

  • Oct 31- Shares of Netflix Inc rose as much as 20 percent on Wednesday after activist investor Carl Icahn reported a stake of nearly 10 percent in the company, which offers subscriptions to watch movies and TV shows over the Internet and on DVDs.

  • *Hess 70,000 bpd Port Reading plant still powerless; Ontario back. *EPA grants diesel fuel standard waiver for New Jersey. Oct 31- East Coast fuel supplies seemed set to remain tight into next week, as spotty electrical power and flooding damage stymied the recovery of two New Jersey refineries after Hurricane Sandy.

  • UK lawmakers to grill Starbucks, Amazon and Google on tax Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 7:35 PM ET

    LONDON, Oct 31- A UK parliamentary committee has invited executives from Starbucks Corp, Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc to answer questions about their tax practices, which allow them to make significant sales in the UK, but pay little tax here.

  • CHICAGO, Oct 31- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission created major confusion earlier this month when it imposed, and then suspended, a key rule governing energy derivatives, a CFTC policymaker said on Wednesday.

  • ``Ameridose and FDA agree that the use of injectable products that are not sterile can represent a serious hazard to health,'' the company said in a statement, adding that it shipped its medications nationwide. Earlier this month the FDA said, ``The current production shutdown of Ameridose may impact supplies of certain drugs for some health care systems.''.

  • Oct 31- More than 5.7 million homes and businesses along the U.S. East Coast remained without power on Wednesday after Hurricane Sandy battered the region. Sandy made landfall in New Jersey on Monday night. Power companies have reported a peak of nearly 8.48 million customers without power, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report.

  • BOSTON, Oct 31- Some of Citigroup Inc's banking sites went down for about half an hour on Wednesday, making its online banking system temporarily inaccessible to customers, some of whom were housebound in the wake of giant storm Sandy.

  • UPDATE 5-PVH unites Calvin Klein lines in $2.8 bln deal Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 7:02 PM ET

    Oct 31- Clothing maker PVH Corp will unite Calvin Klein underwear, jeans and sportswear lines under one roof in a $2.8 billion deal to buy rival Warnaco Group Inc that will boost profits immediately. PVH bought Calvin Klein in 2003 and makes formal and sportswear under that brand.

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