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Top News & Analysis New York City

  • NEW YORK-- The shares of at least four homebuilders hit new highs and construction materials companies got a boost as well Wednesday from the release of a new report showing that U.S. builders started construction on homes in September at the fastest rate since July 2008, another sign of a recovering housing market.

  • NEW YORK-- CONTRACT ENDED: Nike Inc. said Wednesday that it is terminating Lance Armstrong's contract, citing insurmountable evidence that the cyclist participated in doping and misled the clothing and footwear company about those activities for more than a decade.

  • Bank of America, the country's second-biggest bank, reported Wednesday that mortgage originations jumped over a year ago _ up 18 percent to $21 billion. Bank of America's chief financial officer was ambiguous when asked whether the housing market had turned, as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the country's two largest mortgage lenders, suggested last week.

  • DENVER-- Five people were found dead in a neighborhood bar where a fire broke out around closing time early Wednesday, and police think the blaze was set to cover up their slayings. The fire at Fero's Bar& Grill was reported around closing time at 2 a.m., Police Chief Robert White said. They didn't perish in the fire, "police Commander Ronald Saunier said.

  • NEW YORK-- The night busted open in New York City as Bruce Springsteen and other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers helped Steven Van Zandt celebrate his Big Man of the Year award. "What a liar," Van Zandt retorted with a grin.

  • NEW YORK-- Candy Crowley's signature moment as moderator of Tuesday's rough-and-tumble presidential debate came when she was called upon to referee a dispute over President Barack Obama's description of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terror.

  • NEW YORK-- THE NUMBERS: PepsiCo Inc.' s net income fell 5 percent in the third quarter, as the company spent more on marketing and was hit by higher costs for ingredients and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

  • Instead, some folks in Josephine County, larger than the state of Rhode Island, are taking matters into their own hands _ mounting flashing lights on their trucks and strapping pistols to their hips to guard communities themselves. Others have put together a virtual neighborhood watch, using Facebook to share tips and information.

  • NEW YORK-- The nation's crude oil and gasoline supplies increased last week, the government said Wednesday. Crude inventories grew by 2.9 million barrels, or 0.8 percent, to 369.2 million barrels, which is 10.9 percent above year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.

  • NEW YORK-- Wanted: A few good recruits for an airline that's seen better days. To replace some of its departing staff, American Airlines will hire 1,500 flight attendants starting next month, with training beginning in January.

  • NEW YORK-- A surprisingly strong housing report helped push the stock market mostly higher Wednesday, even as weak earnings reports from Intel and IBM weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average.

  • NEW YORK-- It's been nearly 40 years since New York City started planning a memorial to President Franklin Roosevelt on an island in the East River. Welfare Island was renamed Roosevelt Island, and American architect Louis Kahn was commissioned to design a park honoring the 32nd president.

  • NEW YORK-- BlackRock Inc. said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income rose 7.9 percent, boosted by an influx of investor cash into its low-cost iShares exchange-traded funds.

  • NEW YORK-- Just the mention of her name, J.K. Rowling, had the audience screaming and on its feet. The "Harry Potter" author spoke for just over an hour before a capacity crowd Tuesday night at Manhattan's Lincoln Center in her sole U.S. public appearance to promote her first novel for grownups, "The Casual Vacancy."

  • NEW YORK-- The Bank of New York Mellon's net income rose 11 percent in the third quarter, as the company slashed expenses and collected more fees for managing investments. BNY Mellon's net income in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to $720 million, or 61 cents per share, from $651 million, or 53 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.

  • NEW YORK-- Stocks are opening flat on Wall Street as investors look over key corporate earnings reports. IBM stock is down $9 at the open at $202. Wall Street was expecting a loss.

  • Shares fell $8.67, or 4.1 percent, to $202.33 in premarket trading. Revenue in its region that includes Europe declined 9 percent, more than any other part of the world. That's because sales made in Europe are converting into fewer U.S. dollars than a year ago.

  • NEW YORK-- Nike has severed ties with cyclist Lance Armstrong, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade. "Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner," it said in a statement.

  • NEW YORK-- Laura Schoppe's small business gets about half of its revenue from contracts with the federal government. Schoppe and thousands of other small companies with federal contracts are watching to see if Congress will stop a mandatory $109 billion in federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect Jan. 2 in what's being called sequestration.

  • NEW YORK-- A multimillion-dollar Roy Lichtenstein painting of an electrical cord that was sent out for a cleaning 42 years ago and disappeared was returned to its owner on Tuesday.