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  • CHICAGO, Oct 31- Business activity in the U.S. Midwest contracted for a second month in October, a report showed on Wednesday, although the forward-looking measure for new orders rose. The Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer rose slightly to 49.9, from 49.7 in September.

  • UPDATE 1-Facebook shares fall as lock-up period expires Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:55 PM ET

    Oct 31- Facebook Inc shares fell 4 percent to $21.07 in busy early trade on Wednesday morning on the company's approval to let employees sell some stock. As a result, Facebook staffers were able to sell their vested shares on Oct. 29.

  • *OPEC crude oil output rises slightly in October- survey. LONDON, Oct 31- Brent crude rose above $109 a barrel on Wednesday as the U.S. East Coast began to pick itself up from a massive storm, but gains were capped by concerns over the demand impact on the world's largest oil consumer.

  • *Bank of Canada seen on hold for longer. OTTAWA, Oct 31- The Canadian economy unexpectedly shrank by 0.1 percent in August from July, pointing to slower growth in the third quarter than in the first half of the year and supporting a Bank of Canada message that interest rate hikes are less imminent.

  • UPDATE 1-JPMorgan sues former London Whale boss Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:48 PM ET

    LONDON, Oct 31- JPMorgan Chase& Co has filed a9519reuff. LONDON, Oct 31- JPMorgan Chase& Co has filed a suit in a British court against the former boss of Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the London Whale, for the outsized derivatives positions he took that cost the bank $6.2 billion in losses this year.

  • DETROIT, Oct 31- Around 12,600 white-collar retirees of General Motors Co have agreed to accept lump-sum payments in lieu of monthly pension checks from the largest U.S. automaker.

  • German solar power boom continues despite tariff cuts Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:45 PM ET

    FRANKFURT, Oct 31- Germany's solar power systems market continued to grow strongly in September, putting Europe's biggest economy on track for a new installation record this year and increasing pressure on the ruling coalition to curb the spiralling costs to consumers.

  • SOFTS-Arabica coffee steady, producer selling caps upside Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:44 PM ET

    *Arabica market under pressure from Brazil producer selling. *Brazil dry weather could see sugar output revised higher. LONDON, Oct 31- Arabica coffee futures were steady on Wednesday as selling from top producer Brazil weighed and dealers monitored weather conditions in the U.S. after exchange stocks on the east coast were unscathed by stormy weather.

  • *Market awaits China's official PMI on Thursday. LONDON, Oct 31- London copper rose more than 1 percent as the dollar weakened against the euro on Wednesday, but the metal was still on track for a monthly loss on uncertainty about demand from top consumer China.

  • Oct 31- Nu Skin Enterprises Inc's quarterly results handily beat Wall Street expectations on strong performance of its anti-ageing and nutritional supplement businesses in China, prompting the company to raise its full-year forecast for the sixth time.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 31- The Dow and S&P opened higher on Wednesday as equity markets reopened following a two-day market closure prompted by a damaging storm in the U.S. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 80.02 points, or 0.61 percent, at 13,187.23. The Standard& Poor's 500 Index was up 5.81 points, or 0.41 percent, at 1,417.75.

  • UPDATE 2-Phillips 66 quarterly profit up on good margins Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:39 PM ET

    The company's margins were also higher than expected in Europe and the Atlantic Basin, which helped drive the earnings beat, Roger Read, analyst for Wells Fargo said in a note to clients. The Houston company had a third-quarter profit of $1.6 billion or $2.51 per share, compared with $1 billion or $1.65 per share a year earlier.

  • Facebook shares fall as lock-up period expires Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:35 PM ET

    Oct 31- Facebook Inc shares fell 4 percent to $21.07 in busy early trade on Wednesday morning on the company's approval to let employees sell some stock. The world's largest social network waived a provision that prevented employees from selling shares until Nov. 14. As a result, Facebook staffers were able to sell their vested shares on Oct. 29.

  • NJ motorists line up for gasoline Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:30 PM ET

    WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J.-- It's reminiscent of the gas shortages in the 1970 s. Motorists are lining up for miles for gasoline at a service area on the Garden State Parkway in Wall Township. Brian Polite says the wait has been about an hour.

  • JPMorgan sues former London Whale boss-report Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:30 PM ET

    Oct 31- JPMorgan Chase& Co has filed suit against the former boss of Bruno Iksil, the trader known as the London Whale for the outsized derivatives positions he took that cost the bank $6.2 billion this year, according to a published report. JPMorgan executives said in July the bank would act to take back pay from traders and supervisors involved in the loss.

  • Wall St view of a loss of 18 cents. The video game publisher blasted past estimates as it posted adjusted earnings per share of 11 cents versus analysts' average expectations of a loss of 18 cents according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. For the quarter ending Sept. 30, revenue more than doubled to $288 million, beating analysts' forecast of $240.66 million.

  • Iran and Syria swap fuels as both aim to dodge sanctions Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:29 PM ET

    LONDON, Oct 31- Iran and Syria have arranged a gasoline-for-diesel swap, helping each other overcome international sanctions that have cut them off from fuel supplies needed to keep their economies afloat and support their armies.

  • Thousands of fans line up for SF Giants parade Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:26 PM ET

    SAN FRANCISCO-- Orange- and-black clad hordes flooded the streets of San Francisco on Wednesday for a Halloween Day ticker-tape parade celebrating the 2012 World Series champion Giants. More than an hour before the start of the parade, thousands of people decked out in Giants gear or Halloween costumes stood 20 deep behind barriers along Market Street.

  • UPDATE 1-Clorox posts higher profit, stands by 2013 view Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:26 PM ET

    *First-quarter profit $1.01/ share tops Street view $0.95. Oct 31- Clorox Co posted a higher quarterly profit and maintained its forecast for the fiscal year on Wednesday, buoyed by price increases, cost cuts and a lower-than-anticipated tax rate.

  • UPDATE 3-PVH to buy Warnaco for Calvin Klein control Wednesday, 31 Oct 2012 | 1:26 PM ET

    *Offer of $68.43 a share represents a premium of 34 percent. Oct 31- PVH Corp will buy rival Warnaco Group Inc for about $2.8 billion in a cash-and-stock deal that will give the company control of the Calvin Klein clothing brand.