NEW YORK— Never mind the doggie bag: Spot wants a seat at the outdoor table, or rather under it. After getting a unanimous OK from the state Senate, advocates are pressing its Assembly to sign on. States including California, Florida and Maryland have opened restaurant patios to dogs within the last decade.» Read More
NEW YORK-- Safeway Inc. said Thursday that its profit margin slipped in the third quarter as it spent money on launching a new customer loyalty program, an investment the supermarket operator said should drive sales going forward. The sale of Safeway's Genuardi's chain helped offset the declines and pushed the company's net income up 21 percent.
WASHINGTON-- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up from record lows last week. Cheaper mortgages are fueling a modest housing recovery that could help the broader economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30- year loan increased to 3.39 percent from 3.36 percent.
NEW ORLEANS-- The New Orleans Film Festival opens Thursday with a red carpet showing of the Louisiana- shot thriller "The Paperboy."
PORTLAND, Maine-- Amtrak as well as its Downeaster passenger service between Maine and Boston have set new ridership records. Records were also set in other regions of the country, including New England.
ATLANTA-- The Georgia Department of Labor is teaming up with business and community leaders in two northwest Georgia counties to try to help job seekers get matched up with employers looking to fill vacant positions.
RABAT, Morocco-- The Standard& Poor's rating agency on Thursday revised Morocco's outlook downward to negative from stable because of Europe's financial crisis, a high deficit and lagging reforms. Morocco sought help from the International Monetary Fund in August, winning a $6.2 billion precautionary credit line.
TRENTON, N.J.-- New Jersey lawmakers are considering bills that would allow the use of portable betting devices at horse racing tracks, and allow lottery winners to remain anonymous for a year. A state Senate committee is due to consider a measure allowing betting on wireless devices at race tracks.
WIDER TRADE GAP: The U.S. trade deficit widened to $44.2 billion in August, up 4.1 percent from July and the biggest gap since May, as exports fell to the lowest level in six months. THE DETAILS: Exports dropped 1 percent to $181.3 billion, according to the Commerce Department.
DES MOINES, Iowa-- The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday slightly lowered its projection for the nation's corn crop for a fourth straight month, reflecting worse-than-expected news about the actual impact of this year's withering drought from the farmers busy harvesting their fields.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas-- Convenience store chain Susser Holdings Corp. anticipates that a key revenue trend rose more slowly in its recently ended third quarter. Susser, which runs about 550 Stripes shops in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, has opened 15 stores this year, expect to open 11 in the last three months of the year and has plans for 28 to 35 next year.
PLEASANTON, Calif.-- Heart device maker Thoratec on Thursday said it promoted Taylor C. Harris to chief financial officer. Thoratec, based in Pleasanton, Calif., makes HeartMate pumps, which are used in patients who are waiting for a heart transplant or for those who are too sick to have heart transplant surgery.
NEW YORK-- Stocks are opening higher after better-than-expected job numbers. The Labor Department says applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to 339,000. That's the lowest in more than four years. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 62 points just after the opening bell at 13,406. That's after three days of declines.
Celgene edged higher before markets opened Thursday, a day after the drug developer's stock slid on the release of a report in Europe regarding its cancer treatment Revlimid. Celgene recorded $934 million in revenue from Revlimid in the second quarter, a 17 percent increase compared to last year, driven in part by market share gains and a geographic expansion.
RICHMOND, Va.-- Comcast Corp. is kicking off the second year of a program aimed at making sure low-income families in Virginia have Internet access. To date, more than 1,800 families in Virginia have been connected to the Internet through the program.
WINONA, Minn.-- Fastenal Co. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income rose 13 percent, boosted by double-digit sales increases in all three months of the period and the addition of new stores.
DOVER, Del.-- The Obama administration's secretary of housing and urban development is visiting Delaware to take part in a conference on affordable housing. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will give the keynote speech Thursday at the 2012 Governor's Conference on Housing.
NEW YORK-- Safeway Inc. says its net income rose 21 percent in the third quarter as it benefited from the sale of its Genuardi's stores. The Pleasanton, Calif.- based company, which also operates Vons, Dominick's and other grocery chains, says it earned $157 million, or 66 cents per share, in the period. That compares with $130.2 million, or 38 cents per share, a year ago.
SAN DIEGO-- City officials say a San Diego judge ordered Rite Aid Corp. and its California subsidiary Thrifty PayLess Inc. to pay $800,000 to settle a complaint alleging false advertising.
ATLANTA-- Zep Inc., which makes cleaners, pest and weed control products and disinfectants, said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter net income jumped 79 percent despite a drop in revenue. For the quarter ended Aug. 31, the Atlanta- based company earned $7.3 million, or 33 cents per share, up from $4.1 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has raised about $70.4 million in its initial public offering of 4.4 million shares. The Calabasas, Calif., company, which is developing an injectable treatment for double chins, priced its IPO at $16 per share, or the top end of its estimated range.