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  • US rate on 30-year mortgage rises to 3.41 pct. Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 10:00 AM ET

    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.

  • RPT-As investors bet on election, odd trading crops up Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:59 AM ET

    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.

  • Patterson-UTI 3Q net falls on slow rig demand Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:58 AM ET

    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.

  • Stocks climb, breaking out of a weeklong slump Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:56 AM ET

    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.

  • 9 hurt in Texas City chemical leak Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:55 AM ET

    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.

  • Viewers embrace TV's make-believe politicians Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:53 AM ET

    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."

  • UPDATE 2-Unilever sales spruced up by China demand Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:53 AM ET

    *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.

  • *Rolling Stones open Paris 'warm-up gig' to fans Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:51 AM ET
  • Gold now top conflict mineral in Congo: Report Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:50 AM ET

    GOMA, Congo-- Gold is now the primary source of income for armed groups in eastern Congo, and is ending up in jewelry stores across the world, according to a report published Thursday by the Enough Project.

  • Imprisoned detective may pose risk to star clients Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:47 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES-- Four years after a private eye went to prison for wiretapping phones of the rich and famous on behalf of celebrities and Hollywood heavyweights, his clients are facing hefty bills for his skullduggery.

  • News Summary: Marlboro maker Altria 3Q profit down Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:46 AM ET

    THE RESULTS: Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc.' s third-quarter net income fell 44 percent to of $657 million on charges for a loss on early extinguishment of debt. Revenue, excluding excise taxes, rose about 3 percent to $4.46 billion. OTHER TOBACCO: Volumes of its smokeless tobacco brands such as Copenhagen and Skoal rose nearly 6 percent.

  • PARIS, Oct 25- France Telecom cut its dividend for this year and next by over 40 percent on Thursday, as it tackles tougher than expected competition in its key home market from upstart rival Free Mobile and a weaker economic outlook.

  • Hiring, orders and earnings news lifts stocks Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:45 AM ET

    NEW YORK-- Stocks are starting higher on Wall Street after investors finally got some better news on the economy and corporate earnings. Procter& Gamble led the Dow Jones industrial average higher after the giant consumer products company reported earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

  • German bank seeking damages from Ecclestone Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:43 AM ET

    BERLIN-- A German bank says it's seeking damages from Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone over the sale of its stake in the racing series it says was compromised by a bribe to one of its bankers. BayernLB spokesman Matthias Luecke says the bank wrote to Ecclestone's lawyers this week seeking damages but declined to discuss details.

  • TOKYO, Oct 25- Japan's Canon Inc cut its full-year earnings outlook and posted a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit as Chinese consumers began shunning Japanese products over a territorial spat, adding to corporate Japan's pain from a slowing global economy.

  • National Oilwell 3Q profit rises on overseas sales Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:36 AM ET

    HOUSTON-- National Oilwell Varco Inc. said Thursday that third-quarter profit rose 14 percent, and it predicted strong fourth-quarter demand for drilling rigs used in deep water. Net income was $612 million, or $1.43 per share, compared with $532 million, or $1.25 per share, a year earlier.

  • Raytheon posts flat 3Q net income on lower revenue Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:36 AM ET

    WALTHAM, Mass.-- Raytheon Co. said Thursday that third-quarter income was flat, hurt by a slight drop in revenue and tough comparisons to a prior-year quarter boosted by a hefty tax-related gain. But the profit beat Wall Street predictions and the defense contractor boosted its profit prediction for the full year.

  • UPDATE 1-Strengthening Hurricane Sandy slams into Cuba Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:34 AM ET

    *Makes landfall southwest of Santiago de Cuba. HAVANA, Oct 25- Hurricane Sandy, strengthening rapidly after crossing the warm Caribbean Sea, slammed into southeastern Cuba early on Thursday with 105 mph winds that cut power and blew over trees across the city of Santiago de Cuba.

  • How states fared on applications for jobless aid Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 9:32 AM ET

    California: Up 26,935, due to layoffs in all sectors, particularly the service industry. Florida: Up 3,947, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail and services. Ohio: Up 1,936, due to layoffs in transportation and manufacturing.