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  • Ninetowns shares jump after CEO-led buyout offer Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:53 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of China's Ninetowns Internet Technology Group Co. jumped on Friday after the company said it had received a preliminary, non-binding proposal from a group including the chief executive to take the company private.

  • How would candidates' tax plans affect investors? Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:52 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- With the outcome of next month's presidential election increasingly hazy, here's a shred of clarity that investors can cling to: The tax rates they pay on investment income like stock profits and dividends are almost certain to change.

  • News Summary: Wheat falls on weekend rain forecast Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:48 PM ET

    AG DRAIN: Wheat prices fell 3.3 percent as weekend storms are expected to deliver much-needed moisture to fields in part of the growing region. SLUGGISH OIL: Oil prices fell after the International Energy Agency predicted a slower pace of growth in demand over the next five years.

  • Ranking countries by their government debt to GDP Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:34 PM ET
  • US budget deficits, and 1 surplus, dating to 2001 Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:27 PM ET
  • Wheat falls on forecast for rain in the Midwest Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:24 PM ET

    Wheat for December delivery fell 29.25 cents to finish at $8.5675 per bushel. The weekend rains are expected to help winter wheat crops that have been plagued by dry weather in western Kansas, western Nebraska and eastern Colorado.

  • XenoPort extends slump after analyst's downgrade Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:24 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of XenoPort Inc. fell Friday after a Piper Jaffray analyst downgraded the stock, saying the company's experimental multiple sclerosis drug is years away from marketing approval or a development partnership.

  • DiamondRock 3Q results improve, cuts 2012 forecast Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:23 PM ET

    BETHESDA, Md.-- DiamondRock Hospitality's fiscal third-quarter results improved as room rates climbed, but the company lowered its 2012 adjusted funds from operations forecast and issued fourth-quarter guidance below Wall Street's view.

  • Paris prosecutor opens preliminary probe into LVMH Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:21 PM ET

    PARIS-- The Paris prosecutor's office says it has opened a preliminary investigation into scarf and bag maker Hermes' claim that luxury giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton engaged in insider trading and share manipulation when it took a stake in its rival.

  • Dollar Tree shares fall on downgrade Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:14 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of discount store chain Dollar Tree fell on Friday after an analyst downgraded the stock on weakening sales trends. THE SPARK: Jefferies analyst Daniel Binder said in a note to investors that revenue in stores open at least one year, a key retail metric, have been decelerating at Dollar Tree.

  • News Summary: Wells Fargo net income rises in 3Q Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:11 PM ET

    TOP- LINE GAINS: Wells Fargo posted record earnings in the third quarter. Wells' net income in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose 23 percent, to $4.72 billion from $3.84 billion in the same period last year. New mortgage loan originations rose to $139 billion from $89 billion in last year's third quarter.

  • Citigroup downgrades Seagate, Western Digital Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:06 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- A Citigroup analyst on Friday downgraded the shares of Seagate Technology PLC and Western Digital Corp., two leading makers of hard drives, to "Sell" from "Buy" because he sees weakness not just in the PC sector, but in corporate spending on servers and storage arrays, which also use hard drives.

  • Federal deficit tops $1 trillion for fourth year Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:06 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- The federal budget deficit has topped $1 trillion for a fourth straight year. The Treasury Department said Friday that the deficit for the 2012 budget year totaled $1.1 trillion.

  • Protesters set up camp at retired detective's home Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:05 PM ET

    A Thursday bankruptcy court hearing involving retired Atlanta police Detective Jaqueline Barber's home in Fayetteville did not go her way, said Tim Franzen, a leader of Occupy Our Homes ATL. Franzen said more than 30 people were camped out in the yard on Friday, and several of the officers who worked with Barber on the Atlanta force joined the effort.

  • *Longshore Union challenging new Seattle arena plan Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:04 PM ET
  • Sector Snap: Travelzoo warning hits competitors Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:02 PM ET

    Shares of online travel companies fell Friday after Travelzoo Inc. warned investors that its third-quarter profit would likely shrink 40 percent from the prior year. Online travel companies such as Travelzoo, Expedia Inc. and Priceline.com Inc. are in intense competition for customers, who remain somewhat cautious about their spending.

  • Contaminated lot in Providence turned into nursery Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:02 PM ET

    PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- A nonprofit that promotes urban ecology in part through environmental job training has transformed a contaminated lot in Providence into a nursery with 300 trees. Groundwork Providence on Friday morning marked the opening of the Hope Tree Nursery in the city's Elmwood section.

  • *Weekly jobless claims up, but 4-week average down Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:01 PM ET
  • Indicted resort suitor's lawyer wants off case Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 3:00 PM ET

    BOISE, Idaho-- The lawyer for a would-be Tamarack Resort buyer under federal indictment wants off the fraud case, citing deep communication problems over legal strategy and a potential conflict of interest.

  • Sears' Hometown spinoff rises in debut Friday, 12 Oct 2012 | 2:58 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of Sears Holdings Corp.' s spinoff of its Hometown and Outlet Stores are rising on their debut trading day. The Hoffman Estates, Ill., company, which runs Kmart and Sears stores, had signaled in February that it would split off Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. as a separate publicly traded entity.