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  • 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.

  • UPDATE 2-Wall Street scrambles to raise cash after Sandy Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:55 PM ET

    NEW YORK, Oct 31- Wall Street firms and U.S. banks scrambled to raise cash on Wednesday, as U.S. financial markets resumed normal trading after a devastating storm pummeled the U.S. East Coast and closed major markets for two days.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 31- The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that some banks continued to ease lending standards for businesses and consumers in the last three months, while a number reported better bo r rower appetite for real estate and auto loans.

  • UPDATE 1-GM spends $3.6 bln on lump-sum pension buyouts Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:44 PM ET

    DETROIT, Oct 31- General Motors Co spent $3.6 billion on pension buyouts this year for white-collar retirees as part of a plan to cut about one-fifth of its global pension liability. GM also said it would shift management of pension plans for 118,000 salaried retirees to a unit of Prudential Financial Inc..

  • *Lumber futures rise the $10 daily limit. Trade sources said the home-rebuilding process in the northeastern United States, which bore the brunt of Sandy, could stretch well into 2013, keeping demand for lumber robust.

  • Oct 31- Maybe liquidity isn't all it's cracked up to be. Trading in U.S.-traded stocks re-opened on Wednesday after a rare two-day hiatus, as exchanges struggled to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

  • UPDATE 3-Portugal faces court battle after budget passes Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:35 PM ET

    LISBON, Oct 31- Portugal's parliament approved the biggest tax increases in the country's modern history on Wednesday, paving the way for a court battle over a budget which the government says is vital to keep its international bailout afloat.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- U.S. gasoline rose on Wednesday on concerns about East Coast supply shortages as the energy sector struggled to restore operations disrupted by massive storm Sandy.

  • UPDATE 3-Phillips 66 quarterly profit up on good margins Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:35 PM ET

    HOUSTON, Oct 31- Increased access to cheaper crude oil from the United States and Canada boosted Phillips 66' s quarterly profits above analyst expectations after the U.S. refining company spun off from ConocoPhillips earlier this year, the company reported on Wednesday.

  • *Reuters Business News Schedule at 1430 EDT / 1830 GMT Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:35 PM ET
  • US Bush-era trade deal with Panama goes into force Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:32 PM ET

    ``This trade deal will guarantee access to Panama's $20.6 billion services market and more than $15 billion in infrastructure projects...

  • Companies like environmental cleanup specialist Clean Harbors, building supply chains Home Depot and Lowe's, building products makers Owens Corning and Beacon Roofing and generator manufacturer Generac Holdings surged in early trading on the assumption that the recovery from Sandy will take years and boost sales.

  • LONDON, Oct 31- Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli said on Wednesday that he and Jerome Kerviel, the Societe Generale ``rogue trader'', got into trouble only because they had lost money for their employers. Adoboli, 32, was arrested on Sept. 15, 2011, and blamed for losses of $2.3 billion.

  • *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 a Department of Energy collection of data.

  • EXCLUSIVE-Perfume-makers fear EU legal blow to industry Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:06 PM ET

    *EU Commission says consulting widely on issue. PARIS, Oct 31- Perfume-makers are urging the European Commission to back down from possible legislation they fear could kill top fragrances by restricting natural ingredients linked to allergies, industry sources say.

  • Sandy clouds capital outlook for NY's MTA -comptroller Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:00 PM ET

    Oct 31- New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority faces ``very significant'' repair costs following massive storm Sandy, adding a still-unknown burden to a system that had already cut its proposed capital budget, the state comptroller said on Wednesday.

  • Reuters World News Highlights 1800 GMT Oct 31 Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 6:00 PM ET

    JERUSALEM- Most Israelis would be reassured if Mitt Romney won next week's U.S. presidential election, feeling they had an unquestioning friend rather than a dispassionate critic in the White House.

  • *Cleveland Clinic compiles annual list of top innovations. Oct 31- The best medical innovations for next year include an almond-size device implanted in the mouth to relieve severe headaches and a handheld scanner resembling a blow dryer that detects skin cancer, the Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday.

  • Bank loan standards ease, loan demand up-Fed survey Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 5:59 PM ET

    WASHINGTON, Oct 31- The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that some banks continued to ease lending standards for businesses and consumers, while a number reported improved borrower appetite for real estate and auto loans in the last three months.