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  • Retail sales jumped 1.1 percent last month, producing the best two months of sales in two years, according to figures released Monday by the Commerce Department. "The consumer is back," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors. "

  • The government said retail sales in August and September posted their two largest gains since October 2010. WHO THAT HELPS: Companies that rely on consumer spending, like Lowe's, TJX Cos. and Yum Brands. WHAT'S NEXT: Quarterly reports due Tuesday include Intel, Goldman Sachs, Johnson& Johnson, and Coca-Cola.

  • The Dow Jones industrial average is closing with its biggest gain in a month after a strong retail sales report and strong earnings from Citigroup brought buyers into the market. Citi led bank stocks higher. Two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • TARNISHED GOLD: Gold fell to its lowest price since Sept. 12 after new Chinese data renewed questions about whether that country's leaders will implement more economic stimulus measures. CHINA MOVES: China said its inflation rate fell in September from August.

  • NEW YORK-- Walgreen Co. advertised free flu shots for members of the NYS Empire health plan but ended up sticking many of them with the bill. Walgreen runs the Walgreens drug store chain. Walgreen will also pay roughly $15,000 in costs to New York.

  • Gold for December delivery dropped $22.10 to finish at $1,737.60 per ounce. China, the world's second largest economy, said its inflation rate fell to 1.9 percent in September from 2 percent in August. China's economic growth fell to a three-year low of 7.6 percent for the quarter ending in June.

  • KNOXVILLE, Tenn.-- The Knoxville News Sentinel has ended a decades-old tradition of endorsing presidential candidates, saying it no longer has any special access to the candidates.

  • On the New York Mercantile Exchange:. _ Natural gas fell 12.5 cents to $3.486 per 1,000 cubic feet. On the ICE Futures Exchange in London:.

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- Supporters of using hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas staged a rally and march in Albany, N.Y. on Monday.

  • WASHINGTON-- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign says it raised $170.4 million in September. The figure brings Romney's fundraising effort slightly behind President Barack Obama's $181 million haul for the month.

  • WITH HONORS: College savings plans offered through four states earned top marks from Morningstar in the company's annual update to ratings of so-called 529 plans. PRETTY GOOD: Four other plans earned silver-medal honors from Morningstar. Those 529 plans are sponsored by Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia.

  • BATON ROUGE, La.-- Louisiana's state-run property insurer of last resort says it's settled 85 percent of the more than 17,000 claims it received about damage from Hurricane Isaac. The company _ Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation _ said Monday that it expects Isaac to cost between $75 million and $100 million.

  • PROVIDENCE, R.I.-- Police in Rhode Island say they've made arrests in a half million dollar theft of air conditioning units from a Wal-Mart store. Woonsocket police said Monday that Larry Bates Sr. and Jesse Marinaro of Johnston and Matthew Bruckschen of Woonsocket are charged with conspiracy and larceny in connection with the April theft.

  • PHILADELPHIA-- Pennsylvania gambling regulators say gross revenue from table games was up 15.4 percent last month compared to the same period a year ago. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported Monday that the state's 11 casinos generated $59.3 million in gross revenue from table games last month.

  • NEW YORK-- The American Civil Liberties Union accused Morgan Stanley of violating civil rights laws by encouraging a lender to push more expensive and risky mortgages on black neighborhoods in Detroit. Morgan Stanley said the allegations were "completely without merit."

  • Deval Patrick's administration has ordered tighter controls on state spending, while opting not to revise its estimate of tax revenues for the current fiscal year. Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez said Monday he believes Massachusetts will have enough revenue to meet its budget obligations.

  • CHICAGO-- The city of Chicago released a new cultural plan on Monday _ its first in more than 25 years. It also included developing a theater district in downtown Chicago. Funding for the plan came from the Chicago Community Trust and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

  • SEATTLE-- Monday is expected to be a significant day in the proposal for a new arena in Seattle to bring back an NBA team and host an NHL team. The Seattle and King County councils are expected to give final approval to the plan to build the $490 million arena with $200 million in public help.

  • CHARLESTON, S.C.-- The two-state board working to build a $5 billion steamship terminal on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River is meeting in Charleston. The Georgia- South Carolina board working to develop the Jasper Ocean Terminal meets Monday at the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

  • OKLAHOMA CITY-- Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has presented the first homeowner check in connection with the state's $18.6 million settlement with the nation's largest lenders.