BEIJING, Feb 1- Activity in China's factory sector contracted in January for the first time in more than two years, an official survey showed on Sunday, which will increase gloom about the outlook for the world's second-biggest economy this year. The official Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 49.8 in January from December's 50.1, a whisker below the 50- point...» Read More
TEMA, Ghana-- Ghanaian officials on Friday refused to release an Argentine naval ship that was seized in the West African nation due to a complaint by a U.S. hedge fund. Officials of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority told The Associated Press they will release the ship only after they receive a court order.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- An appellate court is urging the Florida Legislature to reconsider a state law that makes injured employees pay employers' legal costs if they lose good faith workers compensation appeals. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee made that recommendation Friday in upholding such an order.
WASHINGTON-- The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years and giving President Barack Obama a potential boost with the election a month away.
CONCORD, N.H.-- The New Hampshire Department of Health says it's not aware of any illnesses in the state associated with the recall of ready-to-eat bags of select flavors of popcorn. Manufacturer Dale and Thomas Popcorn is voluntarily recalling select flavors of Popcorn, Indiana- brand products because of possible Listeria contamination.
Park Ridge, N.J.- based Hertz is in the process of acquiring Tulsa, Okla.- based Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. for $87.50 per share, or about $2.3 billion. The offer, which was previously set to expire on Friday, will now expire on Oct. 22, Hertz said. Hertz shares fell 2 cents to $14.54 in midday trading Friday.
DALLAS-- Southwest Airlines Co. was left at the gate when other airline stocks rose strongly on Friday morning after the company gave a weak report on September traffic and revenue trends. THE SPARK: Southwest, which also operates AirTran Airways, said September traffic dropped by 2.1 percent and a key revenue measure fell by 2 to 3 percent.
A group of entrepreneurs calling themselves "pigeons" _ French slang for someone who has been taken advantage of _ have mounted a campaign on Facebook and Twitter against a new law that will tax investments along the same lines as salaries _ on a sliding scale _meaning they would have to pay a lot more.
WASHINGTON-- Salmonella has been found in a New Mexico plant that produces nut butters for retailer Trader Joe's and several other large national grocery chains, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.
FAIRFAX, Va.-- President Barack Obama says an encouraging jobs report shows that the country has made too much progress to turn back to the policies that he says led the nation into an economic crisis. At a campaign event in suburban Washington, Obama said the report was "a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."
NEW YORK-- U.S. shares of Primero Mining Corp. surged more than 30 percent Friday after the company got a favorable tax ruling from Mexican authorities.
TOPEKA, Kan.-- Kansas will continue to limit compensation for pain and suffering to $250,000 in personal injury lawsuits following a state Supreme Court ruling Friday in the case of a woman whose doctor removed the wrong ovary from her in 2002..
AMSTERDAM-- A Dutch court has rejected a lawsuit filed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC against Greenpeace International seeking to ban environmentalists from holding protests against the oil company's Arctic drilling program on or near Shell property.
AIRING: This ad by the Obama campaign is airing in the closely contested states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia. SCRIPT: Republican nominee Mitt Romney said in the first presidential debate that he's "not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. It cuts to an image of NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell citing the Tax Policy Center report.
VIRUNGA NATIONAL PARK, Congo-- Just a few weeks ago, rangers and militiamen were engaging in gunfights in Africa's oldest national park. Cannons boomed as Congolese army troops shelled rebels.
"We should be finishing harvest in record time," South Dakota State University agronomy specialist Mark Rosenberg told the American News. "
NEW YORK-- The man widely known as "Big" gets even bigger: He's playing J.P. Morgan, one of history's towering business magnates. It was one of Morgan's businesses that funded the Titanic, and Chris Noth appears in a supporting role in "Titanic: Blood and Steel," an epic 12- part miniseries about the building of the great ship.
NEW YORK-- A billionaire wine investor waited too long to file a lawsuit that claimed a New York auction house misrepresented a Bordeaux as belonging to Thomas Jefferson. A three-judge federal panel issued the ruling Thursday. It said William Koch missed the deadline when he filed the suit in 2005..
RICHMOND, Va.-- Twenty-two projects that will promote Virginia's specialty crops have received federal funding. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the $496,000 in grant money is for crops ranging from wine grapes to Christmas trees. The individual grants range from $5,000 to $30,000.
Eight of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, led by a 1.1 percent gain for materials stocks. "We're in rally mode, so slightly positive numbers will do nothing to hinder that," said Ralph Fogel, investment strategist and partner at Fogel Neale Partners in New York. The Labor Department also said employers added 114,000 jobs to their payrolls last month.