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  • US unemployment aid applications jump to 388K Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:33 AM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months. The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose slightly to 365,500, the Labor Department said Thursday.

  • Union Pacific 3Q profit up 15 pct on price hikes Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:31 AM ET

    OMAHA, Neb.-- Union Pacific said Thursday that its third-quarter profit climbed 15 percent because price increases and more automotive and chemical shipments helped the railroad offset a 12 percent drop in coal shipments. Union Pacific, based in Omaha, Neb., said Thursday that revenue grew 5 percent to $5.34 billion from last year's $5.1 billion.

  • Polaris 3Q results top Street, lifts 2012 outlooks Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:30 AM ET

    MINNEAPOLIS-- Polaris Industries' net income surged 40 percent in the third quarter on higher prices, reduced product costs and strong sales of a variety of its vehicles. Polaris Industries Inc. earned $94.3 million, or $1.33 per share, compared with $67.6 million, or 95 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Ahead of the Bell: Noble Corp. profit drops Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:22 AM ET

    Third-quarter net income for the offshore drilling contractor fell to $114.8 million, or 45 cents per share, from $135.3 million, or 53 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Jud Bailey, an analyst with International Strategy and Investment Group LLC, said operating costs of $449 million were above his estimates.

  • Snap-On 3Q profit rises 9 percent, tops St. view Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:21 AM ET

    KENOSHA, Wis.-- Tool maker Snap-On Inc. said Thursday its third-quarter net income rose 9 percent, boosted by contributions from its financing business. Like a lot of manufacturers, Snap-On has a financing subsidiary that helps customers make purchases. Snap-On said its results were pulled down by the effects of unfavorable exchange rates.

  • US futures slip on mix of corporate earnings Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:20 AM ET

    NEW YORK-- Stock futures are falling on mixed quarterly earnings from companies like Verizon, Morgan Stanley and Southwest Airlines.

  • Wesco shares leap on earnings, acquisition news Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 8:16 AM ET

    PITTSBURGH-- Shares of Wesco International jumped 10 percent before the markets opened Thursday after the company edged out profit expectations for the third quarter and announced the acquisition of a Canadian electrical supply company. The company also announced a deal to acquire EECOL Electric Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, for about $1.16 billion.

  • Fifth Third 3Q net income falls on charges Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:52 AM ET

    Fifth Third's net income available to common shareholders fell to $354 million, or 38 cents per share, from $373 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

  • Airstrikes in northern Syria kill more than 20 Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:44 AM ET

    BEIRUT-- Syrian activists say a string of government airstrikes on rebel areas in the country's north has killed at least 20 people, leveled buildings and forced residents to dig through mounds of rubble in search of survivors.

  • Philip Morris Int'l 3Q profit falls 6 percent Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:36 AM ET

    RICHMOND, Va.-- Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc.' s third-quarter net income fell more than 6 percent, despite higher prices, as the company sold fewer cigarettes. Philip Morris International said it earned $2.23 billion, or $1.32 per share, in the third quarter, down from $2.38 billion, or $1.35 per share, a year ago.

  • Morgan Stanley shares rise on higher earnings Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:34 AM ET

    NEW YORK-- Morgan Stanley reported higher revenue and net income for its third quarter Thursday thanks to gains in its bonds and asset management businesses. Excluding an accounting charge, the bank earned $535 million for common shareholders in July to September, up from $39 million a year ago.

  • Danaher 3Q net income up, but misses Street's view Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:30 AM ET

    WASHINGTON-- Industrial and medical equipment maker Danaher's third-quarter net income rose 5 percent from year-ago results that were depressed by a loss on early debt retirement. Danaher Corp. earned $548.7 million, or 77 cents per share, for the period ended Sept. 28.

  • Oil below $92 amid US supplies rise, China growth Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:28 AM ET

    By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for November delivery was down 21 cents at $91.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 47 cents to $112.86 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

  • *Portugal news agency staff strike over funding cut Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:26 AM ET
  • Southwest posts small profit after weak September Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 7:24 AM ET

    Southwest Airlines eked out a small third-quarter profit in spite of a September slowdown, the company said on Thursday. Southwest has been using a mix of fare increases and sales to try to get its prices to a level that travelers will pay.

  • Italian bank Monte dei Paschi downgraded Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 6:58 AM ET

    MILAN-- Shares in Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena have shed 6 percent of their value after Moody's cut the bank's credit rating to junk status. Moody's has dropped the ratings in the world's oldest running bank by two notches to Ba2 from Baaa3 with a negative outlook.

  • Nestle sales growth eases as global economy cools Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 6:53 AM ET

    GENEVA-- Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, on Thursday said its sales growth slowed to 11 percent in the first nine months of 2012 as demand eased both in developed economies and emerging markets, where high growth is starting to cool off.

  • Spain raises $6 billion in successful debt sale Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 6:39 AM ET

    MADRID-- Spain raised 4.6 billion at a sharply lower cost Thursday amid growing expectations that the cash-strapped country will soon make a request for international help to deal with its finances. Spain says it will soon decide whether to look to tap a European Central Bank bond-buying program largely designed to keep a lid on its borrowing costs.

  • Violence breaks out at Greek anti-austerity demo Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 6:39 AM ET

    Authorities said around 70,000 protesters took to the street in two separate demonstrations in Athens during the country's second general strike in a month as workers across the country walked off the job to protest new austerity measures the government is negotiating with Greece's international creditors.

  • MGM China signs deal for new Macau casino Thursday, 18 Oct 2012 | 6:38 AM ET

    MGM China Holdings Ltd. said it formally accepted a land concession contract from the Macau government for a 7.2 hectare plot in the Cotai district, an area of reclaimed land that's earmarked for all new casinos in the Asian gambling haven. MGM China said it is paying $161.4 million for the land, including a $56.2 million down payment.