NEW YORK, Oct 8- U.S. hedge funds and other clients of Wall Street investment firms raised their level of borrowed money in August, a sign they may be more confident in the markets, data published Monday showed. Leverage rose to $286.6 billion last month, according to New York Stock Exchange margin debt data, up 5.4 percent since August last year.
*World Bank warns on slowing Chinese economic growth. NEW YORK, Oct 8- Cotton prices were flat to slightly higher on Monday as speculative short covering and a buoyant grains market offset concerns about slowing growth in China, the world's largest textile market.
NEW YORK, Oct 8- Brent crude futures slipped on Monday on concerns that slower economic growth in China and the debt crisis in Europe will curb demand for petroleum, while the potential for Middle East turmoil to disrupt supplies limited losses. Brent November crude fell 20 cents, or 0.18 percent, to settle at $111.82 a barrel, having moved from $110.54 to $112.24.
NEW YORK-- Playing a deaf teen on the ABC Family drama "Switched at Birth" has put Katie Leclerc on Hollywood's radar. "I was acting for about 10 years before I got `Switched,' the 25- year-old actress said in a recent interview." Leclerc plays Daphne Vasquez, a teen who lost her hearing as a child after a bout with meningitis.
NEW YORK-- "Girls" creator Lena Dunham has a seven-figure book deal with Random House. "In the tradition of Helen Gurley Brown, David Sedaris and Nora Ephron, Dunham's book will offer frank and funny advice on everything from sex to eating to traveling to work," Random House said in an announcement Monday. Random House is owned by Bertelsmann AG.
November crude dropped 55 cents, or 0.61 percent, to settle at $89.33 a barrel, ending below the $89.88 100- day moving average and having swung from $88.21 to $89.89.
NEW YORK-- Qatar Airways is joining an alliance of airlines including American Airlines, British Airways and nine other carriers that coordinate routes and allow passengers to earn frequent flier miles on each other's flights.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 8- U.S. health authorities scrambled on Monday to identify more cases of a rare form of meningitis, including enlisting local police to find people who might be infected by tainted steroid injections that have so far killed eight people.
NEW YORK-- A Cowen and Co. analyst said Monday that Cerus Corp., which makes devices that are used to clean donated blood, should report strong revenue growth as sales of its Intercept system increase.
NEW YORK-- Supermarket chains like Safeway and Roundy's could have even more reason to fear Wal-Mart. As of the end of July, Wal-Mart had 10 "Express" stores and had ramped up its "Neighborhood Market" concept to 217 locations, said Citi Investment Research analyst Deborah Weinswig.
NEW YORK-- Benchmark Research believes the sell-off last week of shares in firearms manufacturers was overdone, and reiterated a buy recommendation on the stocks of the biggest producers.
*World Bank says China economic slowdown may worsen. *Turkey retaliates again after mortar fire from Syria.
NetSpend and Green Dot, which sells many of its cards at Walmart stores, tumbled Monday after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced it would offer its own prepaid card with credit card issuer American Express Co. With its shares falling, Green Dot replied with a statement saying it supported Wal-Mart's efforts to offer more financial products to more customers.
NEW YORK-- CBS Corp. said Monday that it is buying a New York radio station for $75 million so that it can relay a popular AM sports radio feed on the FM dial. It would become the 127th radio station that CBS operates in 28 markets nationwide.
The World Bank cut its growth forecast for Asia Monday and said that China's economy could continue to cool. The officials are expected to discuss Greece, Spain and other matters related to Europe's debt crisis. The dollar fell to 78.34 Japanese yen from 78.69 yen and to 97.66 Canadian cents from 97.90 Canadian cents.
NEW YORK-- When Elie Wiesel emerged from quintuple heart bypass surgery, still wired to monitors, he immediately started writing a book about the ordeal _ "in my head."
NEW YORK-- British television productions received a leading seven International Emmy nominations Monday, including best actor and actress nods for Jason Isaacs in "Case Histories" and newcomer Joanna Vanderham in "The Runaway."
*Check-writing capability, other features, coming next year* Shares of rival card companies NetSpend, Green Dot tank* Wal-Mart, Amex shares largely unchanged. NEW YORK, Oct 8- Wal-Mart Stores Inc and American Express Co are teaming up to offer a prepaid debit card called Bluebird to target lower-income shoppers who do not have bank accounts.
NEW YORK-- Top draft pick Anthony Davis and former No. 1 choices LeBron James and Dwight Howard are featured in a program detailing life as an NBA rookie. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Clippers teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, and a number of other top players are included in " My Life as an NBA Rookie," debuting Oct. 29 on Disney XD.
Detailed results were revealed for the first time Monday at an American Neurological Association conference in Boston. "It's certainly not the home run we all wanted, but we're very encouraged by these results," said Maria Carillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer's Association, which had no role in the research.