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  • Prices for grains, livestock futures rise Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:41 PM ET

    CHICAGO-- Grains futures rose Wednesday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery gained 8.5 cents to $8.5625 per bushel; December corn rose 7.25 cents to $7.455 per bushel; December oats increased 3.25 cents to $3.9575 per bushel and November soybeans gained 15.5 cents to $15.0925 per bushel.

  • Cotton shoots higher; other commodities are mixed Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:31 PM ET

    Cotton for December delivery surged 3 cents, its daily limit, to 77.86 cents per pound. Jack Scoville of Price Futures Group said the gain came on speculative buying and rumors of short supplies.

  • News Summary: RBS exits gov't insurance program Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:30 PM ET

    EXIT: Royal Bank of Scotland, which was rescued in Britain's biggest bank bailout, is leaving a government emergency insurance program that helped stabilize the company after it nearly collapsed.

  • Decades late, FDR memorial park dedicated in NYC Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:29 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Celebrating a design 40 years in the making, dignitaries on Wednesday dedicated a new memorial park to President Franklin Roosevelt overlooking the United Nations that he helped found.

  • Big Bird costumes hot sellers for Halloween Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:28 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Can't figure out how to dress as a binder full of women for Halloween? The Yellow One is flying off the shelves after Mitt Romney's threat to do away with government support for PBS.

  • NFL responds to Vilma, NFLPA lawsuits Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:27 PM ET

    NEW ORLEANS-- The NFL is again urging a federal judge to avoid interfering in Commissioner Roger Goodell's efforts to discipline four players for the Saints' cash-for-hits bounty pool.

  • St. Jude falls on FDA concerns, sales estimate Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:26 PM ET

    NEW YORK-- Shares of St. Jude Medical Inc. declined Wednesday after the medical device maker cut its 2012 revenue estimate and said it may get a warning from federal regulators about a defibrillator plant in California.

  • Earnings roundup: St Jude Medical, Amphenol Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:21 PM ET

    Among the earnings stories for Wednesday, Oct. 17, from The Associated Press:. _ Medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc. reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations, though company shares slumped as the executives warned that the company could receive a regulatory warning over a California manufacturing plant.

  • Earnings roundup: US Bancorp, Northern Trust Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:18 PM ET

    Among the earnings stories for Wednesday, Oct. 17, from The Associated Press:. _ U.S. Bancorp's net income leapt 14 percent in the third quarter as the regional bank made more loans to companies and people seeking mortgages. _ Northern Trust Corp. said its third-quarter net income rose 5 percent due to higher fees from clients for managing their money.

  • Earnings roundup: Halliburton, Abbott Labs Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:17 PM ET

    Among the earnings stories for Wednesday, Oct. 17, from The Associated Press:. _ Halliburton Co. said a decline in revenue in its core North America market was largely responsible for a 12 percent decline in third-quarter profit.

  • Syria's wealthy businesses feel civil war squeeze Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:17 PM ET

    CAIRO-- Syria's wealthy, long cultivated by President Bashar Assad as a support for his regime, are seeing their businesses pummeled by the bloody civil war. Assad may not have lost the backing of Syria's business elite, but some are losing faith.

  • Parker Hannifin to buy Sea Recovery, no terms Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 3:10 PM ET

    CLEVELAND-- Parker Hannifin Corp., which makes industrial hoses, airplane wheels and other products, said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy Sea Recovery from Denmark's Danfoss A/S. Cleveland- based Parker Hannifin will assume ownership of the business on Nov. 1. Parker Hannifin shares rose $1.85, or 2.3 percent, to $83.82 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

  • Movers roundup: Apollo Group, Cree Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:58 PM ET

    Among the stock activity stories for Wednesday, Oct. 17, from The Associated Press:. _ Apollo Group Inc.' s shares plunged after the for-profit education company reported a disastrous fourth-quarter and announced plans to close many of its University of Phoenix schools.

  • Comptroller: Texas Rainy Day Fund climbs to $8.1B Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:55 PM ET

    AUSTIN, Texas-- As another budget-slashing session in the Texas Legislature potentially looms, aides to the state's chief accountant told lawmakers Wednesday that the Rainy Day Fund is about to be stocked with $8.1 billion and could climb higher next year.

  • United Rental shares rise on strong 3Q profit Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:54 PM ET

    THE SPARK: Late Tuesday, United Rentals reported net income of $73 million, or 70 cents per share, compared with $65 million, or 91 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2011. Excluding one-time items, the company said it posted an adjusted profit of $1.35 per share.

  • Abbott Labs 3Q net income rises; lays off 550 Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:48 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Drug and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories reported a higher third-quarter profit Wednesday, edging past analyst expectations, even as revenue slipped. Spokeswoman Adelle Infante said that the layoffs were in Abbott's nutrition, medical devices, established pharmaceuticals and molecular diagnostics divisions.

  • Centene stock jumps as insurer vows Kentucky exit Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:45 PM ET

    Shares of Centene Corp. soared Wednesday after the health insurer said it will end a contract to administer Medicaid coverage in Kentucky that had hampered its performance. A Centene official said in a brief statement that they "do not believe there is a viable path to a sustainable managed care program in Kentucky."

  • Fla. man charged in NY dinosaur fossils case Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:34 PM ET

    MIAMI-- A Florida man was charged Wednesday with smuggling dinosaur fossils into the United States, including a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton from Mongolia, federal prosecutors said.

  • French firm: 7 sailors kidnapped off Nigeria coast Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:34 PM ET

    LAGOS, Nigeria-- Gunmen attacked a ship operated by a French oil and gas services company off the coast of Nigeria's oil-rich southern delta, kidnapping six Russian sailors and an Estonian in the assault, the firm said Wednesday.

  • Legal path to US from Cuba still complicated Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012 | 2:33 PM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Cuba's surprise decision to make it easier for citizens to leave the country doesn't mean Cubans can book tickets on commercial planes and head for Miami. "This may end up being ado about nothing," said a Cuban-immigration expert, Jose Azel of the University of Miami's Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies.