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Top News & Analysis United States

  • Oct 11- Focus Financial Partners LLC, a firm that has expanded by acquiring independent adviser teams across the United States, said on Th ursday it added a Chicago- based group with more than $500 million in client assets.

  • OWEGO, N.Y.-- A Texas company has begun drilling a vertical well to explore the potential of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation, joining about a dozen others probing the potentially lucrative rock beneath New York's southern tier. Carizzo Oil& Gas of Houston recently started digging its first well north of the Tioga County village of Owego.

  • NEW TOWN, N.D.-- North Dakota's Three Affiliated Tribes will be getting control of land for construction of a proposed new oil refinery, U.S. Salazar's decision, announced during a news conference at the tribe's headquarters in New Town, means the tribe may begin construction of the $400 million refinery next spring, tribal Chairman Tex Hall said.

  • NEW YORK-- Williams-Sonoma's potential for international expansion could position the company for solid sales growth in the near and long term, William Blair as it raised its rating on the upscale home goods company.

  • BISMARCK, N.D.-- A tax break for oil that's processed in North Dakota would help make new refineries profitable and would pay for itself though increased economic growth, a developer told state lawmakers Wednesday.

  • Crude futures were up ahead of the data on heightened tensions between Turkey and Syria and the potential threat to oil supply in the region. Brent crude was up $1.10 at $115.43 a barrel at 8:45 a.m. EDT, having traded from $114.42 to $115.59. U.S. crude was up $1.24 at $92.49 a barrel, having traded from $91.09 to $92.70.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market. MICHAEL MORAN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, DAIWA SECURITIES AMERICA, NEW YORK. DAVID SLOAN, ECONOMIST, 4 CAST LTD, NEW YORK.

  • ST. CHARLES, Mo.-- An aerospace manufacturer plans a $4.3 million expansion of its suburban St. Louis facilities that could add about 100 new jobs. Jay Nixon's administration said Wednesday that LMI Aerospace is adding nearly 49,000 square feet to its headquarters and manufacturing facilities in St. Charles. LMI Aerospace fabricates metal products for aircraft.

  • *Canada exports down 0.1 percent, exports fall 3.1 percent* Canada surplus with the United States hits four-month high. OTTAWA, Oct 11- Canada's trade deficit fell more than expected in August, dropping to C $1.32 billion, as imports declined by 3.1 percent, according to Statistics Canada data on Thursday.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- Clearwire Corp:.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to seasonally adjusted 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell by 30,000 to the fewest since February 2008.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market. STORY: TABLE COMMENTS: DAVID SLOAN, ECONOMIST, 4 CAST LTD, NEW YORK.

  • BOSTON, Oct 11- Thinking about your audience and what you can do to better connect to them is a key to making persuasive presentations, says Harvard Business Review. The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org. Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

  • DALLAS-- A federal judge in Texas has sentenced a man to 23 years in prison and ordered him to pay $13 million in restitution over an investment scam he ran out of his home in California. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that 37- year-old Bradley Stark, formerly of Riverside, Calif., was sentenced on seven counts of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- MetroPCS Communications Inc:.

  • TOPEKA, Kan.-- Some state lawmakers are criticizing the new Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission for not disbursing funds to local arts groups. Lawmakers authorized $700,000 for the commission, to replace arts funding that had been vetoed earlier by Gov.

  • PHOENIX-- A lawyer for housing advocates say they'll probably appeal a judge's rejection of a challenge to Arizona's use $50 million from a multistate foreclosure settlement to help balance the state budget.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

  • Oct 11- Hostess Brands Inc, the bankrupt maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread, filed a reorganization plan that includes wage cuts, reduction in health and welfare benefits and a freeze on pensions for at least two years.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market. PETER CARDILLO, CHIEF MARKET ECONOMIST, ROCKWELL GLOBAL CAPITAL, NEW YORK.