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  • Texas' high court upholds franchise tax Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:31 PM ET

    AUSTIN, Texas-- The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the state's much-maligned business tax that provides the second-biggest source of general revenue, preserving current rules for now before lawmakers potentially overhaul the law next year.

  • Banana Boat recalls sunscreen due to fire risk Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:30 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- The maker of Banana Boat sunscreen is recalling a half-million bottles of spray-on lotion after reports that a handful of people have caught on fire after applying the product and coming in contact with open flames.

  • Indiana's unemployment drops to 8.2 percent again Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:29 PM ET

    INDIANAPOLIS-- The state Department of Workforce Development says Indiana's unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in September, the first drop in in five months even though the state lost 6,000 private-sector jobs. The 8.2 percent rate matches the unemployment rate for Indiana in July and is a full percentage point lower than it was in September 2011.

  • US swing state unemployment rates, at a glance Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:28 PM ET
  • News summary: Clothing maker files Ch. 11 Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:21 PM ET

    THE NEWS: HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of tailored clothing brands including Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. THE CONTEXT: The labels Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx got their start in 1887 in Chicago and have been worn by presidents including Barack Obama.

  • APNewsBreak: Questions for Medicare in outbreak Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:18 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Medicare is coming under scrutiny in the meningitis outbreak that has rekindled doubts about the safety of the nation's drug supply. In 2007, Medicare revoked coverage of compounded inhaler drugs for lung disease.

  • La. jobless rate drops to 7 percent in September Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:13 PM ET

    September was the second month in a row the unemployment rate dropped in Louisiana, after no improvement since January, when joblessness hit a post-recession low of 6.9 percent. Louisiana had a 7.2 percent unemployment rate in September 2011. In September 2011, the state had 148,000 unemployed people.

  • Montana unemployment rate down a bit Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:11 PM ET

    HELENA, Mont.-- Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly to 6.1 percent in September, compared to the national rate of 7.8 percent. Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says that the downward trend was fueled by an increase of 1,100 jobs in the state.

  • News Summary: GE 3Q shows progress Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:10 PM ET

    OPERATION SIMPLIFICATION: General Electric reported strong third quarter profits Friday in the midst of its transformation to a simpler company focused on traditional industrial operations. THE BOTTOM LINE: GE's net income rose 49 percent in the third quarter to $3.49 billion, or 33 cents per share.

  • Labor tries new tactic after setbacks in Michigan Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:10 PM ET

    But times are tough for unions in the Rust Belt, even in a longtime bastion like Michigan.

  • Dollar rises after weak US housing data Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 2:04 PM ET

    The euro fell to $1.3023 in late trading Friday from $1.3061 late Thursday. The British pound fell to $1.6014 from $1.6062. The dollar rose to 79.28 Japanese yen from 79.23 yen, to 0.9285 Swiss franc from 0.9253 Swiss franc and to 99.34 Canadian cents from 98.53 Canadian cents.

  • Hart Schaffner Marx owner files for Chapter 11 Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:59 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of tailored clothing brands including Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

  • European regulators object to UPS takeover of TNT Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:54 PM ET

    AMSTERDAM-- The European Union's executive, the Commission, has objected to United Parcel Service's proposed $6.75 billion takeover of TNT Express NV, the companies say. They say the watchdog argues that the deal as it stands would have a negative effect on the market for express delivery of small packages in Europe.

  • Earnings Preview: Peabody Q3 profits seen lower Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:52 PM ET

    ST. LOUIS-- Peabody Energy Corp., the world's biggest private-sector coal company, is expected to post lower earnings compared to a year ago, when it reports second-quarter results before the stock market opens Monday.

  • Dow down 200 as weak earnings drag market lower Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:52 PM ET

    Disappointing results from three giants of the Dow _ Microsoft, General Electric and McDonald's _ were to blame. The Dow sank 221 points, or 1.6 percent, to 13,327. The S&P was down 26, or 1.8 percent, at 1,431. The Nasdaq composite index, hammered by a second ugly day for Google, lost 70 points to 3,002, a 2.3 percent decline.

  • Illinois Amtrak train hits 111 mph in test run Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:44 PM ET

    JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • Caterpillar shares fall on slowing sales growth Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:37 PM ET

    PEORIA, Ill.-- Caterpillar Inc. shares fell Friday after the company reported a slowdown in sales of its heavy equipment and engines last month. Caterpillar said worldwide sales of its heavy equipment rose 6 percent in September, down from gains of 13 percent and 14 percent in August and July, respectively.

  • Pair of analysts cut Advanced Micro Devices rating Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:36 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of Advanced Micro Devices dropped to their lowest point in more than three years on Friday as a pair of analysts downgraded the chipmaker after it announced it will cut nearly 1,800 jobs by the end of the year to reduce spending in the face of dwindling sales.

  • Enrollment falling at for-profit colleges Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:36 PM ET

    When the University of Phoenix, the country's largest university, announced this week it's closing 115 campuses and satellite locations, it signaled more than a sudden availability of commercial real estate near highway interchanges, where for-profit colleges like to set up shop as a student convenience.

  • Spain considers banning photos of police on duty Friday, 19 Oct 2012 | 1:25 PM ET

    MADRID-- Spain is considering a ban on photographing, filming or reproducing images of police and state security forces who are on duty, officials said Friday. Fernandez Diaz said, "We do not intend to stop the press from doing its job of taking pictures of police charges and other proceedings.