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  • NEW YORK-- Phone company Verizon Communications Inc. on Wednesday said it will transfer $7.5 billion of its pension obligations to The Prudential Insurance Company of America. Prudential will take over paying the 41,000 Verizon management retirees covered by a defined-benefit plan that was "frozen" in 2005, meaning no new benefits have accrued since then.

  • NEW YORK-- Wanted: A few good recruits to serve coffee and help combat terrorism at 30,000 feet. American Airlines said Wednesday that it will post job openings for 1,500 flight attendants next month. The departing flight attendants all started working before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that included the crashes of two American Airlines jets.

  • WASHINGTON-- Investors withdrew money from stock mutual funds for the 12th consecutive week during the period ended Oct. 10, although cash was pulled out at a much slower pace than during the previous week. Investors withdrew a net $2.3 billion from U.S. stock funds, the Investment Company Institute said in a preliminary report Wednesday.

  • HOUSTON-- Kinder Morgan Inc. said Wednesday its third-quarter net income rose nearly 32 percent as the nation's largest natural-gas pipeline operator benefited from its acquisition of El Paso Corp in May.

  • MINNEAPOLIS-- Select Comfort Corp.' s shares dropped in after-hours trading Wednesday after the mattress company issued a disappointing full-year revenue forecast. Select Comfort said that its third-quarter profit increased by 52 percent on stronger sales. Select Comfort made $26.2 million, or 46 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Sept. 29.

  • HOUSING: A surprisingly strong housing report helped push the stock market mostly higher Wednesday. The government said builders broke ground on building new single-family houses and apartments in September at the fastest pace since July 2008. BIG BLUES: IBM's stock sank after its results missed Wall Street's expectations.

  • MINNEAPOLIS-- Investment bank Piper Jaffray Cos. said Wednesday that it turned a profit in the third quarter on stronger results from both its capital markets and asset management businesses. Piper Jaffray said revenue for its capital markets business climbed 42 percent on increased equity financing and fixed-income financing revenue.

  • NEW YORK-- Wanted: A few good recruits to serve coffee and help combat terrorism at 30,000 feet. American Airlines said Wednesday that it will post job openings for 1,500 flight attendants next month. The departing flight attendants all started working before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that included the crashes of two American Airlines jets.

  • OMAHA, Neb.-- Trucking and logistics company Werner Enterprises Inc. said on Wednesday that its third-quarter net income fell 15 percent because of weak demand for freight hauling and rising fuel prices. The company earned $25.1 million, or 34 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

  • LARISSA, Greece-- The world's oldest profession is giving a whole new meaning to love of the game. Players on a cash-strapped Greek soccer team now wear pink practice jerseys with the logos " Villa Erotica" and " Soula's House of History," two bordellos it recruited as sponsors after drastic government spending cuts left the country's sports clubs facing ruin.

  • NICOSIA, Cyprus-- International ratings agency Standard& Poor's has cut Cyprus' credit rating to B, three notches deeper into junk because of the government's delay in swiftly negotiating a bailout with potential creditors in order to support its ailing banks. The agency also warned in a statement Wednesday that another downgrade could follow.

  • SLOWING DOWN: Halliburton Co.' s earnings fell 12 percent in the third quarter as business fell off in its core North America market. PASS ON GAS: Some of Halliburton's customers are pulling back on drilling for natural gas because supplies are plenty and prices are down from a year ago.

  • NEW YORK-- A surprisingly strong housing report helped push the stock market mostly higher Wednesday, while weak earnings reports from Intel and IBM weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average. Better results from Mattel, Goldman Sachs, and Johnson& Johnson shot the stock market higher Tuesday.

  • LOS ANGELES-- American Express Co. said Wednesday that its net income rose 1 percent in the third quarter, aided by lower expenses and increased spending by the credit card issuer's customers. In the second quarter, American Express' revenue grew 5 percent from a year earlier.

  • SAN DIEGO-- Home foreclosure activity in California fell to a new five-year low in the third quarter as rising prices eased pressure on homeowners and lenders, a research firm said Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK-- A Bangladeshi man who came to the United States to wage jihad was arrested in an elaborate FBI sting on Wednesday after attempting to blow up a fake car bomb outside the Federal Reserve building in Manhattan, authorities said.

  • A surprisingly strong housing report helped push stocks modestly higher, even as weak earnings reports from Intel and IBM weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average. IBM reported sales late Tuesday that dropped below Wall Street's expectations, while Intel warned that sales of personal computers will likely remain weak during the holiday season.

  • THE SPARK: According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Green Mountain hired Gerard Geoffrion, currently head of its business in Canada, to serve as its president of international business development.

  • Cotton for December delivery surged 3 cents, its daily limit, to 77.86 cents per pound. METALS SHINE: Gold rose $6.70 to settle at $1,753 an ounce, silver rose 27.3 cents to $33.232 an ounce and copper rose 4.8 cents to $3.748 per pound.

  • NEW YORK-- IBM's stock is down more than 5 percent after the company reported disappointing third-quarter revenue and suggested demand in key markets may be slowing. Shares are down $10.69, or 5.1 percent, to $200.31 in late afternoon trading. It came to $24.7 billion, $700 million less than analysts expected.