HOUSTON, Jan 31- Union leaders and oil companies were unable to agree on a new labor accord on Saturday for workers at 63 U.S. refineries as a deadline passed that could lead to a strike. Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the lead negotiator for U.S. refinery owners, has said it does not comment on details of labor negotiations. "We remain committed to resolving our differences...» Read More
Oct 25- Aetna Inc., the third-largest U.S. health insurer, reported a higher quarterly profit on Thursday as it reached its 2012 goal of 18.2 million members ahead of schedule and kept costs down. It previously had forecast $5.00 to $5.10.
SPRING, Texas-- Investigators say a man suspected of trying to steal copper wire has been found dead at an electrical substation near Houston. The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office on Thursday said investigators believe 37- year-old Harold Gene Schneider was electrocuted in the theft process.
LONDON, Oct 25- Global shares and commodity markets rose on Thursday, pulled out of their recent slide by encouraging data from Britain and China and the U.S.
*Q3 sales fall 19 pct to $6.68 bln vs consensus $6.75 bln. *Core EPS $1.51 vs consensus $1.44; full-year outlook held. LONDON, Oct 25- AstraZeneca's sales slumped by a bigger-than-expected 19 percent in the third quarter, underscoring the challenges confronting the drugmaker's new chief executive, Pascal Soriot.
SIDNEY, Neb.-- Cabela's Inc. said Thursday that its net income rose 28 percent in the third quarter, which was in line with Wall Street expectations, as the outdoor sporting goods retailer's new, smaller store formats outperformed its more cavernous stores. Cabela's also noted that its free shipping offer also hurt results for the segment.
Oct 25- Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen Inc said it still expects a $15.1 billion takeover bid by China's CNOOC Ltd to close in the current quarter. CNOOC's chief financial officer, Zhong Hua, told reporters on Wednesday that his company expected to get approval for the takeover by the end of the year.
The announcement comes a day after France offered Peugeot a 7 billion lifeline in loan guarantees but demanded influence in decision-making. Varin insisted the government would not make decisions for Peugeot. According to the Peugeot announcement, ID Logistics planned to use the site and hire 600 of its workers.
ST. LOUIS-- The worst U.S. drought in decades is showing little signs of easing as farmers close out their corn harvests and pivot toward growing winter wheat that's now struggling in the dry conditions. Drought Monitor update released Thursday shows that more than roughly 62 percent of the land in the lower 48 states is experiencing some degree of drought.
LONDON/ SHANGHAI, Oct 25- Copper edged up on Thursday, snapping four sessions of losses, supported by the U.S. Federal Reserve's renewed commitment to keep stimulating economic growth and by improving manufacturing data from top metals consumers China and the United States.
WASHINGTON-- Average U.S. mortgage rates rose only slightly this week and continued to hover near record lows, a trend that has helped boost home sales and refinancing. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30- year fixed mortgage edged up to 3.41 percent, from 3.37 last week. Three weeks ago, the rate touched 3.36 percent.
WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose only slightly, suggesting sales may level off in the coming months after solid gains in the past year. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted index of sales agreements rose in September to a reading of 99.5.
NEW YORK, Oct 24- Money managers across the United States are avidly watching the Nov. 6 presidential election, gaming out investing strategies in the event of a second term for Barack Obama or a first one for Mitt Romney.
HOUSTON-- Oil and natural gas driller Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income fell almost 38 percent as demand fell for drilling rigs in the U.S. The company earned $50.8 million, or 33 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.
*Coming Up: U.S. Weekly jobless claims at 1230 GMT. LONDON, Oct 25- Brent crude oil rose above $108 per barrel on Thursday, consolidating after seven days of falls as better-than-expected data suggested the world economy was recovering, but analysts said the overall outlook for oil prices was bearish.
NEW YORK-- Stocks climbed Thursday on Wall Street, aiming for their first significant advance in more than a week, on the busiest day for quarterly corporate earnings reports. Eight of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 index rose. Online game maker Zynga jumped 26 cents to $2.39 after the company reported revenue that was stronger than analysts had anticipated.
Emergency authorities in Texas City lifted the shelter-in-place order shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday in a storage tank spill involving hydrochloric acid. Diane Tracy with New Jersey- based Dallas Group of America Inc. says company officials are investigating Wednesday night's accident.
This isn't anything new. Years ago, viewers celebrated the presidency of Jed Bartlet on "The West Wing." Fans of "The Wire" savored the ascent of Tommy Carcetti from the Baltimore city council to the Maryland governor's office. Michael J. Fox, and then Charlie Sheen, worked for New York Mayor Winston on the sitcom, "Spin City."
*Strong demand for cleaning, hair and skin products in China. LONDON, Oct 25- Unilever's quarterly sales growth beat forecasts as demand for cleaning and personal care products in China helped the consumer goods group outshine larger rival Nestle.