Sept 16- Bill Barrett Corp said it would exchange most of its acreage in Wyoming's Powder River Basin for oil-producing assets in Colorado, and also sell some natural gas assets in the state.» Read More
*France's Areva, Japan's Toshiba could benefit. BEIJING, Oct 24- China will approve a small number of new nuclear reactors before 2015 to be built only in coastal regions, the government said on Wednesday, as it unveiled a raft of measures to spur private investments in energy.
WASHINGTON, Oct 24- General Dynamics Corp on Wednesday said uncertainty about future U.S. defense budgets affected government orders in its shorter-cycle businesses in the third quarter, driving the number of bids awaiting awards to record levels.
*Ireland set for return to modest economic growth. LONDON, Oct 24- The euro zone's most vulnerable economies, particularly Spain, face a much tougher 2013 than thought just three months ago, marked by prolonged recession and ever-rising unemployment, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
ATLANTA-- Oilfield-services provider RPC Inc. said Wednesday that third-quarter earnings fell 21 percent and revenue declined on lower natural gas prices. Net income in the quarter was $66 million, or 30 cents per share, compared with $83.1 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.
NEW YORK, Oct 24- U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday as strong results from Boeing Co and positive data from China eased concerns about sluggish global growth. Boeing rose 2.1 percent to $74.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 19.55 points, or 0.65 percent, at 3,010.01.
JACKSON, Miss.-- Trustmark Corp. says profit in the third quarter of 2012 rose 10.9 percent from the same three months of 2011, as it paid less interest on deposits and set aside less money to cover future bad loans.
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-- German automaker Volkswagen AG is considering the introduction of a new midsize SUV for the North American market, and its existing Tennessee plant is a contender for building it.
Oct 24- Lockheed Martin Corp, the largest U.S. weapons maker, on Wednesday posted an 11 percent increase in third-quarter earnings, beating expectations by a wide margin, and raised its full-year forecast. It raised its 2012 earnings forecast to a range of $8.20 to $8.40 from a range of $7.90 to $8.10.
NORTHFIELD, Ill.-- Shares of specialty chemical maker Stepan Co. tumbled nearly 6 percent Wednesday after the company's third-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates. But shares fell $5.71, or 5.9 percent, to $91.08 in afternoon trading. Stepan reported net income of $20.2 million, or $1.78 per share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
*Nigeria loses out on $29 bln on cut-price gas deals-report. ABUJA, Oct 24- Nigeria lost out on tens of billions of dollars in oil and gas revenues over the last decade from cut price deals struck between multinational oil companies and government officials, a confidential report seen by Reuters says.
DUBAI/ ABU DHABI, Oct 24- An official document clarifying ultimate responsibility for new debt issuance by Abu Dhabi's government-related entities aims to eliminate any risk of a Dubai-style debt crisis in the emirate.
*Boeing climbs after earnings, outlook. NEW YORK, Oct 24- U.S. stock index futures advanced on Wednesday and pointed to a higher open, after data from China and Boeing provided temporary relief to a slumping market, and following declines Tuesday when the Dow suffered its biggest drop in four months.
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NEW YORK-- Shares of Discovery Laboratories Inc. sank Wednesday after the drug developer said the availability of a new treatment for respiratory distress syndrome may be delayed until next year's second quarter. Discovery said it has started a plan to improve the method, and it will submit the updated specifications to the Food and Drug Administration.
ATLANTA-- An expert panel is urging every expecting mother to get a shot preventing whooping cough, preferably in the last three months of her pregnancy to help protect her baby. The advice follows a frightening resurgence of the dreaded childhood disease.
THE SENTENCE: The Paris appeals court on Wednesday ordered former Societe Generale trader Jerome Kerviel to spend three years in prison and pay back a staggering 4.9 billion in damages for one of the biggest trading frauds in history.
TOLEDO, Ohio-- Owens Corning reported a drop in its third-quarter profit on Wednesday due to lower demand for roofing and composites. Owens Corning earned $44 million, or 37 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 versus $124 million, or $1.01 per share, in the same quarter last year.
Oct 24- Visa Inc said Charles Scharf, a former head of JPMorgan Chase& Co's retail financial services division, will succeed Joseph Saunders as chief executive officer. Scharf, whose appointment is effective Nov. 1, has also been appointed to the payment network's board.
NEW YORK-- The CEO of Patriot Coal is stepping aside less than five months after taking the job. Irl Engelhardt, a long-time executive at Peabody where he served as chairman and director of one of the world's largest coal producers, took over this year just weeks before the troubled Peabody spin-off sought bankruptcy protection.
NEW YORK-- Shares of Panera Bread Co. rose Wednesday, after the restaurant operator reported that its third-quarter profit jumped 27 percent, on strong demand for its soups and sandwiches, and the company raised its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings outlook.