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Top News & Analysis New York

  • *Pre-weekend profit taking pressures prices. *Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday. NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. natural gas futures lost ground on Friday after four straight days of gains, lightly pressured by forecasts for fairly mild U.S. weather next week and some profit taking following the front-month's climb to a fresh 2012 high in overnight trade.

  • *Worries persist over whether Spain will request aid. NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. Worries on whether Spain will ask for a full-blown bailout to help its struggling economy stoked safety bids for Treasuries, while the Federal Reserve's latest bond purchase added to gains in longer-dated debt, analysts said.

  • Billionaire Vincent Bollore plans to list shares of his holding company's electric-car-and-batteries unit next year, the French tycoon told daily Les Echos in an interview. The French ad group said it had acquired 117,415 shares in LBi International NV as part of a deal to acquire the Dutch agency announced in September.

  • *JPMorgan has lower' London whale' losses than in 1st half. Oct 12- Two of the nation's biggest banks, Wells Fargo& Co and J.P. Morgan Chase& Co, made record profits over the last three months from a sharp rise in mortgage lending, though performance stumbles elsewhere hurt J.P. Morgan more than Wells Fargo.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Sears Holdings Corp.' s spinoff of its Hometown and Outlet Stores are declining on its debut trading day. The Hoffman Estates, Ill., company, which runs Kmart and Sears stores, had signaled in February that it would split off Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. as a separate publicly traded entity.

  • NEW YORK-- Canadian drugmaker Aeterna Zentaris Inc. said Friday it is selling 6.6 million units of stock and warrants to raise money for product development. Shares of Aeterna Zentaris lost 73 cents, or 23.4 percent, to $2.39 in midday trading.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 12- U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to its highest in five years in October in the latest in a string of encouraging signs from the economy that may boost President Obama' s reelection hopes as voters go to the polls next month.

  • President Barack Obama has called for keeping tax rates the same for families making less than $250,000 annually and raising them for those above that level.

  • ZURICH, Oct 12- Apple, sensitive about protecting its own designs, has struck a deal to use Swiss railway operator SBB's trademark station clock design on iPads and iPhones.

  • LOS ANGELES, Oct 12- The retired space shuttle Endeavour set off on Friday for a trip unlike any of its previous journeys, one in which it will crawl through the streets of Los Angeles instead of hurtling through space.

  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 0.9 percent to 21,182.77 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.1 percent to 1,935.53. The Commerce Department reported that foreign demand declined for American-made cars and farm goods. One big unknown is Spain and whether the government of the recession-mired country will ask for a financial bailout.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The "Shamoon" virus that attacked Saudi Arabia's state oil company, ARAMCO, was probably the most destructive attack the business s e ctor has seen to date, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The U.S. military could act pre-emptively if it detects an imminent threat of cyber attack, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday, urging stronger action to bolster America's defenses against such plots. He said a presidential executive order was being considered "while we wait for Congress to act."

  • CANBERRA, Oct 12- Australian shares gained more than 0.2 percent on Friday morning, recovering from two sessions of losses, as a rebound in metal prices lifted index-heavy mining stocks. Global miner BHP Billiton Ltd gained 0.8 percent to A $33.50 and major rival Rio Tinto Ltd rose more than 1.6 percent to A $56.31.

  • Oct 12- Younger people with advanced lung cancer who quit smoking more than a year before their diagnosis survive longer than those who continued smoking, according to a U.S. study. However, quitters who were older or who had earlier stages of lung cancer did not have an advantage, said the researchers, whose findings appeared in the journal Cancer.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits slid last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data that may provide a boost to President Barack Obama a month before voters go to the polls.

  • LOS ANGELES, Oct 11- The retired space shuttle Endeavour was getting set on Thursday for a road trip unlike any of its previous journeys, one that will see it crawl through the streets of Los Angeles instead of hurtling through the solitary reaches of space.

  • Oct 12- Younger women who are thrust into menopause because of breast cancer treatment may get some relief from talk therapy and regular exercise, according to a study from the Netherlands.

  • NEW YORK/ HOUSTON, Oct 11- Oil major BP Plc has secured U.S. government permission to ship U.S. crude oil to Canada, and Royal Dutch Shell has applied for an export license, as rising production in the world's top oil consumer upends global energy flows.

  • By Daniel Bases and Sam Forgione. NEW YORK, Oct. 11- U.S.-domiciled equity funds pulled in a modest $1 billion in the week ended Oct. 10, with much of the fresh cash moving into gold and energy exchange-traded funds, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday. At the same time the broad-based equity ETFs such as State Street's SPDR S&P 500 ETF fund.