Top News & Analysis United States

  • The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that it will raise postage rates on Jan. 27, including a 1- cent increase in the cost of first-class mail to 46 cents. Currently, the prices vary depending on the international destination, with letters to Canada and Mexico costing 85 cents.

  • FEDERAL WAY, Wash.-- Lumber and real estate company Weyerhaeuser Co. boosted its dividend on Thursday and said the housing market appears to be improving. The company will pay a dividend of 17 cents per share on Nov. 30 to shareholders of record Nov. 9.

  • *Deal could lead to Sprint buying Clearwire- analysts. *Sprint, Clearwire soar in afternoon trade; MetroPCS down. The Japanese company might also be aiming to use Sprint as a vehicle to make a run at smaller Sprint peer MetroPCS Communications Inc, a two-step transaction that would potentially cost more than 2 trillion yen, according to a Nikkei report.

  • --U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company Gulfport Energy Corp.. plans to issue $250 million of senior unsecured notes. Rating Action On Oct. 11, 2012, Standard& Poor's Ratings Services assigned its' B-' corporate credit rating to Oklahoma City- based Gulfport Energy Corp..

  • SUNNYVALE, Calif.-- Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. fell nearly 8 percent in after-hours trading Thursday after the chipmaker said third-quarter revenue will fall about 10 percent compared to the second quarter because of weaker-than-expected demand across all of its products.

  • BOSTON-- There's not much good news for investors. Even so, the Standard& Poor's 500 index climbed 5.8 percent in the latest quarter, while U.S. stock mutual funds returned an average 5.3 percent, according to fund tracker Lipper Inc..

  • --Holding company IG Investments Holdings LLC is putting in place a $300 million first-lien term loan and a $130 second-lien term loan to help fund Ares Corporate Opportunities Fund III L.P.' s leveraged acquisition of Insight Global Inc. and repayment of its existing debt.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission may delay a rule set to take effect on Friday that would impact cleared energy swaps, according to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday.

  • WILMINGTON, Del.-- Government attorneys are urging a Delaware bankruptcy judge to reject the proposed reorganization plan of failed solar power company Solyndra LLC. Internal Revenue Service attorneys filed papers this week saying the plan's principal purpose is tax avoidance.

  • *Coming up: Baker Hughes rig data, CFTC trade data Friday. NEW YORK, Oct 11- U.S. natural gas futures settled higher on Thursday for a fourth straight day, with a government report showing a weekly inventory build well below market expectations driving the front contract to a new high for the year.

  • LOWELL, Ark.-- Trucking and logistics company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. said Thursday that its third-quarter profit rose almost 14 percent, as a decline in its trucking business was offset by growth in other areas. The company earned $78.2 million, or 65 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

  • WASHINGTON-- Declining applications for unemployment benefits have typically pointed to stronger hiring. Since the U.S. recession officially ended in June 2009, fewer layoffs have meant fewer people seeking unemployment aid.

  • NEW ORLEANS-- Federal scientists and BP say oil appears to have leaked last month from the drilling wreckage lying at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near where a BP well blew out in 2010, causing the nation's worst offshore spill.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- U.S. municipal bond funds posted nearly $915 million of net inflows in the week ended Oct. 10, up sharply from $553 million of inflows in the previous week, according to data released by Lipper on Thursday. The four-week moving average was positive at $579 million, said Lipper, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

  • Bank Earnings Preview

    The technology sector is down nearly 3 percent in October, and the Fast Money traders debate whether technology has lost its mojo; and JPMorgan and Wells Fargo are reporting earnings tomorrow morning. Charlie Bobrinskoy, Ariel Investments, shares his bank bets.

  • NEW YORK-- A Jefferies& Co. analyst said Thursday that sales of diabetes drugs should keep growing at a strong clip for the rest of the decade, reaching $65 billion a year in 2020.. He said Eli Lilly and Co. should surpass France's Sanofi as the second-largest diabetes drug seller.

  • Delta Air Lines said Thursday that it rolled back an increase of $4 to $10 per round trip on many U.S. routes. Delta had raised prices to match an increase started by United Airlines. J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker says the increase is unraveling because it gained only limited support from a few other carriers _ American, Alaska and US Airways.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein on Thursday became the latest big-name business leader to pledge to pay a steeper tax rate- 5 percent more, he said- in exchange for a long-term bipartisan deal in Congress to keep the country from falling off the "fiscal cliff."

  • --Kennesaw, Ga.- based Brand Energy& Infrastructure Services plans to issue a new $325 million senior secured second-lien credit facility. --We are assigning our issue-level rating of' CCC+' to the company's proposed $325 million second-lien term loan facility.

  • TORONTO, Oct 11- Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday, recovering from three days of losses that culminated in a five-week low, encouraged by U.S. employment data and comments from the IMF that were seen as supporting stability in the euro zone.