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  • NEW YORK-- E-Trade Financial's stock fell more than 8 percent on Friday after the company posted a surprising third-quarter loss. THE SPARK: E-Trade Financial Corp. said after the market closed on Thursday that it lost 10 cents per share in the July-to-September quarter.

  • COLUMBIA, S.C.-- South Carolina's unemployment rate has gone down by one half of a percentage point. The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 9.1 percent in September. Agency officials say that the number of unemployed people in South Carolina dropped by nearly 11,000 over the past month.

  • NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.-- The boards that oversee Rutgers University have set a vote for next month to formalize their takeover of most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The special joint meeting of the Board of Governor and Board of Trustees is scheduled for Nov. 19.

  • ROCKFORD, Ill.-- Passenger numbers continue to climb at the Rockford airport, which recorded its busiest September on record for passenger traffic. The Chicago Rockford International Airport had more than 13,000 passengers last month.

  • PEORIA, Ill.-- Ameren Illinois officials say they're expecting natural gas prices this winter will be similar to last season. Ameren Illinois, part of Ameren Corp., serves 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in central and southern Illinois.

  • OMAHA, Neb.-- An index of economic conditions in 10 Midwest and Western states jumped this month after three months of drought-induced doldrums. "Our survey indicates that the negative impacts of the drought are being more than offset by the positives of very strong incomes from high agriculture and energy prices," said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.

  • The price of oil is falling after TransCanada reaffirmed plans to restart a pipeline this weekend that carries crude from Canada to the Midwest. TransCanada closed the 2,100- mile pipeline Wednesday after tests showed possible safety issues.

  • DETROIT-- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints that children have been trapped in Graco car seats because the buckles won't unlatch.

  • Rates dropped in Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and North Carolina. They were unchanged in New Hampshire and Virginia. With just 18 days until Election Day, polls show GOP challenger Mitt Romney gaining momentum with voters in key states.

  • MADRID-- Spain's main trade unions on Friday called a general strike for Nov. 14, coinciding with similar work stoppages in Portugal and Greece, to protest government-imposed austerity measures and labor reforms. The general strike called by the Workers' Commissions and General Workers' unions will be the second in Spain this year.

  • NABLUS, West Bank-- Posters for two competing candidates in this weekend's Palestinian local elections are affixed to road signs, buildings, power lines, and vehicles in this bustling West Bank city. Only Palestinians in the West Bank will vote Saturday, choosing mostly between rivals from the dominant but disorganized Fatah Party of President Mahmoud Abbas.

  • HIGH POINT, N.C.-- This year may be a turning point for the furniture industry, which has taken an especially hard hit during the recession as credit was limited and people put big-ticket purchases on hold to pay monthly bills.

  • NEW YORK-- Chipotle's stock is taking a big hit from investors worried that years of lightning-fast growth are over. Chipotle shares closed down 15 percent, or $42.93, at $243. Late Thursday, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said its third-quarter revenue and net income both grew.

  • ATHENS, Greece-- An opinion poll in Greece says an anti-bailout leftist party has extended its lead over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' conservatives, while support for a far right party with strong neo-Nazi references has doubled since June's national election.

  • PHOENIX-- As the national average for a gallon of gas has decreased, Arizona prices remain about the same, up. 2 cents to $3.71 per gallon since last week. Tucson and Flagstaff have the lowest and highest state fuel averages, at $3.47 and $3.90 per gallon, respectively.

  • TRENTON, N.J.-- Amgen Inc., the world's biggest biotech company, will update on progress on its experimental drugs when it reports its third-quarter results after the stock market closes Tuesday. He'll also mention the latest product approval for Amgen, based in Thousand Oaks, Calif..

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Oklahoma's chief auditor says he's found a lack of financial safeguards at the Commission on Marginally Producing Oil and Gas Wells. Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones says an operational audit released Thursday cites the agency for not implementing a system of checks and balances to safeguard public assets.

  • The hard-rocking country music star made a whirlwind run around the eastern U.S. on Thursday, announcing shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and on the University of Georgia campus in the space of 12 hours. Aldean will make the first appearance by a country music performer at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

  • RALEIGH, N.C.-- Time is running out for North Carolina homeowners to offer their view of a proposal by insurance companies doing business in the state to increase premiums by an average of nearly 18 percent next year. Friday is the deadline to submit comments by mail or e-mail to the state Insurance Department.

  • KILLINGTON, Vt.-- Vermont's Killington ski resort says it's going to power one of its lifts this season with electricity generated from methane gas recovered from cow manure.