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  • Benchmark oil dropped $2.32, or 2.6 percent, to $86.29 in afternoon trading in New York. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline dropped 2 cents overnight to $3.65. That's why gasoline futures have plunged 12 percent in less than two weeks, including a 6- cent drop Tuesday to $2.59 per gallon.

  • A unionized job once meant a secure path to a middle-class life. President Barack Obama has signed a series of executive orders that encourage the use of union labor in federal construction projects, ease union financial reporting requirements and more.

  • NEW YORK-- Nobody was expecting this earnings season to be great. Stocks plunged Tuesday, making it one of the worst days on Wall Street so far this year and sending the major indexes to their lowest levels since early September. That was June 1, the day the government released an ominously weak jobs report.

  • GLENVIEW, Ill.-- Security products distributor Anixter International said Tuesday that its net income dropped 53 percent in the third quarter mostly because of impairment and inventory charges. The Glenview, Ill., company earned $20.5 million, or 61 cents per share, compared with $43.5 million, or $1.26 per share, a year earlier.

  • And it sparked the Wall Street protests that spread to other cities in the country. President Barack Obama would raise taxes on households earning more than $250,000 a year, plus set a minimum tax rate of 30 percent for those who earn $1 million or more.

  • SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-- South Dakota feedlots with capacities of 1,000 or more head had 195,000 cattle on feed for the slaughter market as of Oct. 1. The Agriculture Department says the inventory is down 10,000 head over the year but up 10,000 head over the month.

  • NOT ART: Lap dances are taxable because they don't promote culture in a community the way ballet or other artistic endeavors do, New York's highest court concluded Tuesday in a sharply divided ruling.

  • UPS said it predicts earnings of $4.55 to $4.65 per share, compared with its earlier forecast of $4.50 to $4.70. The new outlook indicates that earnings in the fourth quarter will exceed Wall Street expectations. For the three months ending in September, United Parcel Service Inc.' s net income fell 56 percent to $469 million, or 48 cents per share.

  • Peabody Energy Corp.' s shares fell in trading Tuesday after a Goldman Sachs analyst downgraded his rating on the coal company after a recent rally in its stock price.

  • DETAILS: JELD-WEN and Reliabilt Interior Bifold Doors manufactured by JELD-WEN, Inc. of Klamath Falls, Ore.; sold at Home Depot, Lowe's and other retailers between February 2011 and March 2012. The interior bifold doors were manufactured in the United States.

  • J.C. Penney Co. said Tuesday that for the entire month of November families can have a portrait done for free. The free portrait service is available at 530 Penney stores that have portrait studios. Penney operates more than 1,100 stores.

  • In areas such as mortgages, voter identification and immigration enforcement, the presidential candidates differ over how to use laws that guarantee equality and how far the Justice Department's civil rights division, which exerts strong influence on issues of race and ethnicity, should go to ensure all Americans are treated fairly.

  • OLYMPIA, Wash.-- Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $500,000 to the campaign to uphold Washington state's gay marriage law. The donation was announced Tuesday by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74. The donation was made on Oct. 15, but didn't publicly post online with the Public Disclosure Commission until Tuesday.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of MicroStrategy Inc. fell Tuesday after the business software company shuffled its managerial ranks, prompting at least one analyst to cut his rating for the company.

  • NEW YORK-- A Raymond James analyst lowered his third-quarter estimates for three hospital operators on Tuesday, saying it looks like patient admissions will be lower than he expected.

  • LONDON-- Manchester United will open an office in the United States to target commercial sponsors. Vice chairman Ed Woodward said Tuesday the record 19- time English champions will open the office on the East Coast as they look to raise more cash to reduce the club's debt.

  • JERUSALEM-- Israel's prime minister vowed Tuesday to continue building in a contested Jerusalem district, just days after European Union criticism of Jewish housing there. Netanyahu said Jerusalem is " Israel's eternal capital" during the visit to Gilo and said Israel has every right to build there.

  • Perhaps that's why famous pals Katie Holmes and Julianna Margulies joined Narciso Rodriguez as he launched a limited-edition collection with a more affordable national retailer. Holmes walked the red carpet at the launch party Monday in New York for Rodriguez's line for Kohl's Corp..

  • BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- Regions Financial Corp. on Tuesday posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings, as the regional bank set aside less cash to cover loan losses. Regions reported net income of $301 million, or 21 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30.