*Traders look ahead to USDA reports due on Friday. *Egypt buys Russian, Ukrainian wheat in tender. However, advancing U.S. harvests and sluggish export demand will limit gains until the USDA resolves uncertainty over acreage in the monthly reports, said Rich Feltes, head of market insights for U.S. broker RJ O'Brien.» Read More
LOWELL, Ark.-- Trucking and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose almost 14 percent, as a decline in its trucking business was offset by growth in other areas. The company earned $78.2 million, or 65 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.
WASHINGTON-- Declining applications for unemployment benefits have typically pointed to stronger hiring. Since the U.S. recession officially ended in June 2009, fewer layoffs have meant fewer people seeking unemployment aid.
NEW ORLEANS-- Federal scientists and BP say oil appears to have leaked last month from the drilling wreckage lying at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near where a BP well blew out in 2010, causing the nation's worst offshore spill.
NEW YORK-- A Jefferies& Co. analyst said Thursday that sales of diabetes drugs should keep growing at a strong clip for the rest of the decade, reaching $65 billion a year in 2020.. He said Eli Lilly and Co. should surpass France's Sanofi as the second-largest diabetes drug seller.
Delta Air Lines said Thursday that it rolled back an increase of $4 to $10 per round trip on many U.S. routes. Delta had raised prices to match an increase started by United Airlines. J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker says the increase is unraveling because it gained only limited support from a few other carriers _ American, Alaska and US Airways.
Oil prices rose Thursday as tension between Turkey and Syria raised concerns that crude oil supplies from the Middle East could be disrupted. On the New York Mercantile Exchange:. Benchmark crude rose 82 cents to finish at $92.07 per barrel.
THE CHARGE: Executives at some of the country's largest private equity firms reportedly told each other they wouldn't drive up prices for companies they were looking to buy, according to new court documents.
THE JOBS REPORT: The Labor Department reported that weekly unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since February 2008. Sprint Nextel said that a Japanese cell phone company, Softbank Corp., is in talks to invest in the company. Truck company Oshkosh Corp. rose after activist investor Carl Icahn offered to buy the company.
NEW YORK-- Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market:. Sprint Nextel Corp., up 72 cents at $5.76. Safeway Inc., down 58 cents at $15.71.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-- Prosecutors say a Florida man resealed and returned used enemas to pharmacies who resold them to unsuspecting customers. Thirty-four-year-old Ronald Eugene Robinson, of Jacksonville, faces federal charges of tampering with consumer products. There were two phone listings for a Ronald E. Robinson in Jacksonville.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 83 points, shrugging off a widening U.S. trade deficit, higher unemployment in Greece and a ratings cut for Spain. "There's not a lot to move the market today," said Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer of Wells Fargo Private Bank in San Francisco. "
PEORIA, Ill.-- Caterpillar said on Thursday that long-time executives Rich Lavin and Gerard Vittecoq are retiring, and the heavy-equipment maker named their replacements. Lavin was Caterpillar's group president for Construction Industries and Growth Markets.
STAMFORD, Conn.-- Moody's Investors Service on Thursday upgraded the credit rating for audio gear maker Harman International Industries Inc. to investment grade and out of junk status, saying that recent refinancing of its debt gives it more flexibility. Moody's assigned "Baa3" ratings to a $750 million unsecured line of credit and a $300 million unsecured loan.
BOSTON-- The Boston Marathon is full. The Boston Athletic Association said Thursday that registration for the 2013 race has closed. Other runners still have a chance to participate as part of a charity program that has raised more than $150 million in the past 25 years.
NEW YORK-- Stocks are ending the day close to break-even despite some good news on jobs. The Labor Department says applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 339,000. That's the lowest in more than four years. Economists also look at the four-week average, and that hit a six-month low.
MINNEAPOLIS-- Despite the drought that parched much of the rest of the country, 2012 is shaping up as a pleasant surprise for many Minnesota farmers who are expected to harvest record corn and sugarbeet crops. "It went better than we thought it would _ by a long ways _ that's for sure," southwestern Minnesota corn and soybean farmer Scott Johnson said with a laugh.
HARTFORD, Conn.-- Outrage over unauthorized pay raises for Connecticut education staff members deepened Thursday with the state House Republican leader calling for the Board of Regents president to step down and the Democratic governor saying credibility must be restored "as quickly as possible."
DALLAS-- Just weeks ago, American Airlines was working its way through bankruptcy court, on schedule for one of the fastest turnarounds in aviation history. Then seemingly overnight, American became the butt of jokes from Facebook to late-night TV. "American Airlines has a new slogan," Jay Leno joked on NBC's "The Tonight Show."
INDIANAPOLIS-- The Indiana State Fair is canceling paid concerts at next year's fair after shows moved to downtown Indianapolis following a deadly 2011 stage rigging collapse failed to attract big crowds during August's fair.
SAN FRANCISCO-- Victims of the deadly San Bruno gas pipeline blast urged California regulators Thursday to continue public hearings that will determine the amount of fines levied against Pacific Gas& Electric Co, the pipeline's owner.