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  • NEW YORK, Oct 3- The pace of growth in the vast U.S. services sector picked up in September as new orders accelerated, though employment cooled, an industry report showed on Wednesday.

  • FRANKFURT, Oct 3- Deutsche Telekom and MetroPCS said they will merge their U.S. mobile operations to create a larger fourth-place player better able to compete with rivals. The boards of both companies voted on Wednesday to approve the deal, which will see Deutsche Telekom hold 74 percent and MetroPCS 26 percent in the combined entity.

  • There were twice as many restaurant openings than closings in New York over the past year and diners still eat out three times per week-- the same number as in each of the past three years, according to the survey of 44,306 people, which will be released on Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 3- U.S. natural gas futures slid more than 3 percent early Wednesday amid profit-taking after gaining more than 24 percent over six straight winning sessions. But many traders remained concerned that gas priced at well above $3 per million British thermal units would continue to lose market share to coal for power generation.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 3- U.S. The impact was not dramatic, though, because the report has not been a good immediate predictor of job growth as reported by the U.S. Labor Department each month. "The market reaction was muted," said Eric Stein, vice president and portfolio manager at Eaton Vance Investment Managers in Boston. "

  • NEW YORK-- Stocks are mostly higher in early trading on Wall Street after a measure of private sector hiring came in better than analysts were expecting. The Standard& Poor's 500 index rose two points to 1,447 shortly after the opening bell Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite rose 10 points to 3,129..

  • ALBANY, N.Y.-- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo began a statewide tour Tuesday to cheer on business projects that have gotten under way with the help of tax breaks, as New York's unemployment rate remains stubbornly higher than the national average. We have cranes in the sky, "said Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney in Syracuse.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 3- U.S. stocks rose slightly at the open on Wednesday after data showed more jobs were created in the U.S. private sector last month than analysts had expected. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 14.55 points, or 0.11 percent, to 13,496.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 11.63 points, or 0.37 percent, to 3,131.67.

  • *Companies add 162,000 jobs in September. NEW YORK, Oct 3- U.S. companies added 162,000 jobs in September, more than economists expected but still pointing to slow improvement in the labor market, data from a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 3- U.S. natural gas futures slid n early 3 pe rcent early W ednesday a mid p rofit-taking a fter gaining more than 24 percent ov er s ix straight wi nning se ssions. But many traders remained concerned that gas priced at well above $3 per million British thermal units will continue to lose market share to coal for power generation.

  • NEW YORK-- Marriott International Inc. will give investors a first look at how the hotel industry weathered a tough summer when it reports earnings for the third quarter after the market closes. Still, observers think Marriott will be able to keep its vow to improve earnings, because it's still been able to raise prices.

  • NEW YORK-- U.S. stock futures are up slightly after a private survey found businesses hired fewer workers in September than in August. In the last half-hour before trading, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 13 points at 13,424. Standard& Poor's 500 index futures are up two at 1,442. Nasdaq futures are up six.

  • NEW YORK-- U.S. births fell for the fourth year in a row, the government reported Wednesday, with experts calling it more proof that the weak economy has continued to dampen enthusiasm for having children. But there may be a silver lining: The decline in 2011 was just 1 percent _ not as sharp a fall-off as the 2 to 3 percent drop seen in other recent years.

  • *Carlyle bought 55 percent stake in Vermillion* Paid with cash and shares in itself* Deal represents major expansion within alternative assets By Greg Roumeliotis and Josephine Mason.

  • NEW YORK-- Best-selling novelist Sylvia Day says sales of her "Crossfire" series and other erotic romance novels are on the rise in part because of maturing fans of the "Twilight Saga" young adult romance books.

  • *Best Buy founder, private equity firms, examine books. Automatic Data Processing said 162,000 private jobs were created in September in the United States, more than the 143,000 expected by analysts, and down from a revised 189,000 in August.

  • SINGAPORE, Oct 3- Singapore will allow companies to issue different classes of shares to help its stock exchange to compete for new listings and the country to maintain its competitiveness as a financial centre.

  • WASHINGTON-- The Carlyle Group said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy a 55 percent stake in Vermillion Asset Management. The units will be exchangeable one-for-one on a private placement basis for Carlyle Group common units, the company said. Carlyle Group shares closed at $25.64 per share on Tuesday.

  • NEW YORK-- Best Buy Co.' s shares ticked higher in premarket trading after a report said its founder and former chairman Richard Schulze is making some headway with his potential buyout offer of the electronics retailer.

  • TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- A Florida man's bid to become the first illegal immigrant to obtain a law license in the United States met skepticism Tuesday from most of the state's Supreme Court justices. He graduated from New College in Florida, earned a law degree from Florida State University and passed the state bar exam last year.