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  • U.S. third-quarter growth raised to 4.1 percent Friday, 20 Dec 2013 | 8:31 AM ET

    WASHINGTON, Dec 20- The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in almost two years in the third quarter while business spending was stronger than previously estimated, pointing to some underlying strength that should be sustained.

  • SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 20- The annual no-holds-barred Christmas holiday slugfest between mobile game developers has a new twist this year: marketing and user-acquisition costs will likely hit an all-time high and surpass any revenue earned over the festive season.

  • LONDON, Dec 20- U.S. stocks are on track to become the top investment in 2013, with the S&P 500 index on course to mark its best year since 1997.. Gold was the biggest loser with a year-to-date loss of 29 percent. MSCI's main emerging equity index is also set to the end the year in the red, having lost 3.5 percent on a total return basis so far in 2013..

  • Dec 19- Truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp reported a 13.5 percent drop in quarterly sales, hurt by weak demand across businesses and market share losses as it moves to a new emission technology. Navistar shares fell about 9 percent to $36 in premarket trading on Friday. Navistar had to then source engines from rival Cummins Inc.

  • *Euro dips after S&P cuts European Union debt rating. LONDON, Dec 20- European shares inched up on Friday with riskier assets still in demand following a broadly neutral shift in U.S. monetary policy, and the euro dipped after rating agency S&P downgraded the European Union from triple-A.

  • BRASILIA, Dec 20- Brazil's central bank expects inflation to slow slightly in the next two years while economic growth remains moderate, leaving the door open for additional rate hikes before it halts its aggressive monetary tightening cycle. In its quarterly inflation report released on Friday, the bank kept its 2013 inflation forecast at 5.8 percent.

  • ROZZANO, Italy, Dec 20- Telecom Italia's shareholders were meeting on Friday to decide whether to oust the entire board in an attempt by dissident investors to weaken the increasingly powerful influence of rival Spanish group Telefonica.

  • PARIS, Dec 20- France's unloved financial transaction tax is hampering its efforts to persuade local institutions to buy stakes in Paris stock exchange operator Euronext and keep it under French influence after its expected spin-off next year.

  • *Red Hat gains after earnings, outlook. NEW YORK, Dec 20- U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its biggest weekly climb in two months, as investors appeared confident the economy will grow even as the Federal Reserve scales back its monthly stimulus.

  • *Israel creates partition, but unwilling to cede control. JERUSALEM, Dec 20- Palestinian Sana Musa holds her 8- year old daughter Susann's hand as they start the long trek home from school across a caged walkway through Israel's concrete separation wall.

  • *Coming up: U.S. final Q3 GDP data at 1330 GMT. LONDON, Dec 20- Brent crude oil rose towards $111 a barrel on Friday, heading for a weekly gain, boosted by a positive outlook for fuel demand in the United States, the world's largest oil consumer, and reduced Libyan supply.

  • Dec 20- Walgreen Co, the largest U.S. drugstore operator, reported higher first-quarter sales but said an increase in promotions and a slowdown in the introduction of higher-profit generic drugs cut into the gross profit margin.

  • *A UAE deal would underpin thousands of British jobs. LONDON, Dec 20- BAE Systems faced investor worries over its growth prospects after the United Arab Emirates pulled out of talks to buy 60 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets, in a blow to the UK government which had pushed hard to land the $9.8 billion deal.

  • Waterloo, Ontario- based BlackBerry pioneered the concept of on-the-go email, and for years its pagers and phones were must-have devices for political and business leaders. A new line of devices that run on BlackBerry 10 software has failed to win back market share, prompting the company to consider a possible sale earlier this year.

  • BRUSSELS, Dec 20- Credit agency Standard& Poor's cut its triple-A rating of the European Union by one notch on Friday, saying it had concerns about how the bloc's budget was financed, a view EU leaders and other officials dismissed as misguided.

  • GM reshuffle to test Opel CEO's turnaround skills Friday, 20 Dec 2013 | 7:23 AM ET

    *GM scales back Peugeot alliance seen as key to Opel. FRANKFURT, Dec 20- A management rejig at General Motors and the scaling back of its alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen have created fresh uncertainty over the U.S. carmaker's strategy for Opel, just as the European business seemed to have secured a settled future.

  • Navistar revenue drops 13.5 pct due to weak demand Friday, 20 Dec 2013 | 7:16 AM ET

    Dec 19- Truck and engine maker Navistar International Corp reported a 13.5 percent drop in quarterly revenue due to weak demand across businesses. A failed engine redesign this year affected Navistar's market share and hurt sales in the quarter, the company said.

  • *Red Hat gains after earnings, outlook. NEW YORK, Dec 20- U.S. stock index futures advanced on Friday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its biggest weekly climb in two months, as investors appeared confident the economy will grow even as the Federal Reserve scales back its monthly stimulus.

  • TORONTO, Dec 20- Smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd TO> reported a massive quarterly loss on Friday due to an inventory writedown and asset impairment charges. The company, which abandoned an attempt to sell itself last month, reported a net loss of $4.4 billion, or $8.37 a share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 30.

  • ROME, Dec 20- Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said on Friday his government's 2014 budget was crucial for Italy's stability despite it pleasing neither unions nor business. The lower house of Italy's parliament is due to vote on a confidence motion in the early afternoon with the Senate following on Monday.

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