Top News & Analysis United States

More

  • SAN FRANCISCO-- Californians woke up to a shock Friday as overnight gasoline prices jumped by as much as 20 cents a gallon in some areas, ending a week of soaring costs that saw some stations close and others charge record prices. In Southern California, the price jumped 20 cents a gallon overnight to $4.53 in Ventura.

  • The steroid medication suspected in an outbreak of a rare kind of meningitis was shipped to 23 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The specialty pharmacy that made the steroid, New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Mass., recalled three lots of the drug last week and has shut down operations.

  • Federal and state health officials are investigating an outbreak of a rare and deadly form of meningitis. Most of the cases are in Tennessee, the rest in Florida, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. A: A specialty pharmacy, New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., custom-made the steroid.

  • The Food and Drug Administration urged physicians not to use any products at all from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the preservative-free methylprednisolone acetate.

  • NEW YORK-- Stable costs, menu price increases and a shift to selling wings by the pound are making analysts more optimistic on shares of Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.. A Wedbush analyst on Friday raised his rating for Buffalo Wild Wings to "Outperform" from "Neutral," and lifted his price target on the company by $22 to $100.

  • DETROIT-- U.S. safety regulators are looking into throttle problems in older Ford Escapes at the request of a consumer group. The nonprofit North Carolina Consumers Council has asked federal regulators to investigate two complaints from drivers who say the small SUV stalled or surged forward.

  • NEW YORK-- Former PBS anchor Jim Lehrer says a debate moderator should be like a baseball umpire _ get out of the way and let the candidates play.

  • VIENNA, Oct 5- Uncertainty over a controversial merger is expected to delay an auction for Austria's fourth-generation telecoms frequencies until next September, potentially leaving the pioneer in mobile technology among the last European countries to have faster networks.

  • DETROIT-- U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that Honda Odyssey Minivans and Pilot SUVs can roll away after drivers remove the ignition key. The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration affects more than 577,000 vehicles from the 2003 and 2004 model years that have automatic transmissions.

  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 0.7 percent at 5,871 while Germany's DAX rose 1.2 percent to 7,397. The CAC-40 in France was 1.6 percent higher at 3,457.. The benchmark New York rate was $2.41 lower at $89.31 a barrel.

  • COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa-- Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged Thursday that he and President Barack Obama want to raise $1 trillion in taxes on the wealthy as part of a plan to let some Bush-era tax cuts expire, giving Republicans fresh fodder to criticize the Democratic ticket just days after the vice president said the middle class has been buried during the past four years.

  • CHEYENNE, Wyo.-- A land conservation group has reached a long-sought agreement with a petroleum company to prevent a controversial gas drilling project inside a national forest by buying out a vast area of federal oil and gas leases in northwest Wyoming.

  • SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico-- The U.S. government has a new fight in Vieques, the Puerto Rican island that was used as a Navy bombing range for decades. Under a proposal favored by the Navy, the cleanup of the area would be deemed complete even though about 200 acres has not been cleared of munitions debris, some potentially still live.

  • *Nonfarm payrolls rose 114,000 in September* Unemployment rate falls to 7.8 percent, lowest since 2009* Household survey shows most job gains since 1983* Average hourly earnings gain 7 cents* Report is second last before Nov. 6 elections By Lucia Mutikani.

  • *European shares extend gains, Wall Street set to open higher. LONDON, Oct 5- European shares extended their gains and the dollar rose against the yen on Friday after a key jobs report from the United States showed its unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest point in nearly four years.

  • NEW YORK-- Stop if you've heard this one before: the NHL is losing games because of a lockout. In a widely anticipated move, the NHL announced Thursday that 82 games between opening night next week and Oct. 24 have been canceled because of the ongoing fight with the players' association that had already forced the league to eliminate the preseason schedule.

  • NEW YORK-- Beauty products seller Avon Products said Friday that its chairman and former CEO Andrea Jung will step down at the end of the year, ending her 18- year tenure at the company. She was replaced as CEO by Johnson& Johnson executive Sherilyn S. McCoy in April but retained her chairman title.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Mercury Computer Systems Inc. sank 17 percent before the opening bell Friday as analysts cut their expectations for future profits after the defense contractor cut its outlook for its most recent quarter.

  • Oct 5- The U.S. brokerage unit and a European unit of the former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc said they settled a dispute over $38 billion in claims over client and creditor assets, a major step toward allowing customers and creditors to recover money.

  • LONDON, Oct 5- The fall in the Iranian rial over the past year is the result of Tehran's economic mismanagement and sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear programme, U.S.