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  • BOSTON-- Shares of companies that own Medicare- supported health care facilities fell on Tuesday after an analyst reduced ratings on two of the stocks, citing the potential for cuts to the federal health program. Jefferies& Co. analyst Omotayo Okusanya cut his ratings of Ventas Inc. and Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. to "Hold" from "Buy."

  • Nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco this year are cell phone-related, police say, and most occur on bustling transit lines. And, in nearby Oakland, City Council candidate Dan Kalb was robbed at gunpoint of his iPhone Wednesday after he attended a neighborhood anti-crime meeting.

  • FAST TRACK: Test runs started zooming along a section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 111 mph Friday. The 30- mph increase from the route's current top speed is a morale booster for advocates of high-speed rail.

  • THE NEWS: HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of tailored clothing brands including Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. THE CONTEXT: The labels Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx got their start in 1887 in Chicago and have been worn by presidents including Barack Obama.

  • NEW YORK-- HMX Acquisition Corp., the owner of tailored clothing brands including Hickey Freeman and Hart Schaffner Marx, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- For the first time on a key Midwestern route between Chicago and St. Louis, an Amtrak passenger train topped 110 mph Friday, ripping through fog-shrouded farm fields and blowing past cars on a parallel highway. Illinois and the country was a wasteland when it came to high speed rail, "said U.S.

  • PEORIA, Ill.-- Caterpillar Inc. shares fell Friday after the company reported a slowdown in sales of its heavy equipment and engines last month. Caterpillar said worldwide sales of its heavy equipment rose 6 percent in September, down from gains of 13 percent and 14 percent in August and July, respectively.

  • JOLIET, Ill.-- An Amtrak passenger train has reached a speed of 110 mph for the first time in Illinois. The five-car, two-locomotive train zipped through the central Illinois countryside, hitting its high speed between the towns of Dwight and Pontiac.

  • ROCKFORD, Ill.-- Passenger numbers continue to climb at the Rockford airport, which recorded its busiest September on record for passenger traffic. The Chicago Rockford International Airport had more than 13,000 passengers last month.

  • PEORIA, Ill.-- Ameren Illinois officials say they're expecting natural gas prices this winter will be similar to last season. Ameren Illinois, part of Ameren Corp., serves 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers in central and southern Illinois.

  • OMAHA, Neb.-- An index of economic conditions in 10 Midwest and Western states jumped this month after three months of drought-induced doldrums. "Our survey indicates that the negative impacts of the drought are being more than offset by the positives of very strong incomes from high agriculture and energy prices," said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss.

  • The hard-rocking country music star made a whirlwind run around the eastern U.S. on Thursday, announcing shows at Boston's Fenway Park, Chicago's Wrigley Field and on the University of Georgia campus in the space of 12 hours. Aldean will make the first appearance by a country music performer at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.

  • NEW YORK-- Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland, seeking to acquire Graincorp, said Friday that it now owns nearly 15 percent of the Australian grain handler. Archer Daniels Midland Co. purchased a 10 percent stake in GrainCorp Ltd. Thursday night, adding to its existing 4.9 percent holding.

  • By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 36 cents to $92.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, which many U.S. refiners use to make gasoline, was up 40 cents to $112.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

  • NEW YORK-- ABC News said it wanted to step beyond reporting on the gang violence in Chicago to explore ways of reducing it. There have been more than 400 murders in Chicago this year, with the murder rate four times what it is in New York, ABC said.

  • NEW YORK-- Tough competition in the U.S. and the weakening economy abroad was a double whammy for McDonald's in the third-quarter, sending the burger chain's net income down nearly 4 percent.

  • NEW YORK-- The fungus found in tainted steroid shots matches the one behind the national meningitis outbreak that has killed 20 people, federal health officials said Thursday.

  • CHICAGO-- In a modest milestone for President Barack Obama's high-speed rail vision, test runs will start zooming along a small section of the Amtrak line between Chicago and St. Louis at 110 mph Friday. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Illinois Gov.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama has presided over a heyday for the gun industry despite predictions by the National Rifle Association four years ago that he would be the "most anti-gun president in American history."