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Top News & Analysis United States

  • FRANKFURT, Oct 8- Germany's markets regulator signalled support for the proposals of an EU advisory group led by Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen, which called last week for banks' deposit-taking business to be legally separated from higher-risk activities.

  • *FTSE 100 index finishes 0.5 percent lower. *Charts signal FTSE's uptrend intact. were down 0.4 percent after the World Bank cut its growth forecasts for China and as investors prepared for third-quarter earnings, which kick off on Tuesday in the United States with results from aluminium company Alcoa.

  • WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- Targacept Inc. said Monday it will eliminate 26 jobs, or 38 percent of its staff positions, as it tries to cut more costs after its second significant drug failure of the year.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of Vringo, which buys and licenses patents, jumped more than 16 percent in heavy trading Monday, after the company said it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ZTE Corp.' s U.K. subsidiary.

  • Oct 8- Fitch Ratings announced today that it is affirming UnitedHealth Group Inc.' s. The rating action follows today's announcement by UNH that it will acquire Amil Participacoes S.A., a Brazil- based managed care company in a predominately debt-financed transaction expected to be valued at approximately $4.9 billion.

  • *World Bank says China economic slowdown may worsen. NEW YORK, Oct 8- Oil prices eased 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.

  • Oct 8- Two private equity firms agreed to a $166 million settlement of a lawsuit that accused them of stripping assets from the Mervyn's retail chain and pushing the former unit of Target Corp into bankruptcy, according to court documents.

  • CLERMONT, Ky.-- Bourbon fan Tim Allen started his day of sightseeing by sipping whiskeys crafted at a Jim Beam distillery. Where else are pre-lunch nips more commonplace than in Kentucky bourbon country?

  • LONDON/ PARIS, Oct 8- Britain, France and Germany pushed on with talks on Monday aiming to prevent a disagreement over state shareholdings wrecking a proposed merger of EADS. Plans by Airbus parent EADS and UK arms firm BAE Systems to create the world's largest aerospace and defence company must overcome a knot of political concerns over security and jobs.

  • U.S. stocks declined after the World Bank cut growth forecasts for East Asia, highlighting concerns about the global economic climate and corporate profits on the cusp of the quarterly earnings season.

  • Oct 8- Media General Inc exited its nearly two-centuries-old newspaper business by selling the Tampa Tribune, and raised its revenue forecast for political advertising on its TV stations due to stronger-than-anticipated demand in key election battlegrounds.

  • Bullish Technicals Near-Term

    As investors see new highs across the board, Katie Stockton, MKM Partners, explains what the technicals are saying.

  • SAN DIEGO-- Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Monday it is selling its remaining stake in its Taiwanese affiliate Optimer Biotechnology for $60 million. Optimer Pharmaceuticals plans to use the proceeds from the sale to fund marketing of its drug Dificid and for other general corporate purposes.

  • Citi Research analyst P.J. Juvekar said that could lead to more U.S. natural gas being exported to Mexico. Natural gas futures fell 2 cents to $3.38 per 1,000 cubic feet in morning trading Monday. That could affect North American producers like CF Industries Holdings Inc. and Agrium Inc..

  • DALLAS-- American Airlines parent AMR Corp. said Monday that a key revenue measure rose 4 percent in September although traffic declined as the carrier struggled with widespread flight delays and cancellations. American's improvement in the revenue statistic beat the results of several other large U.S. airlines.

  • DENVER-- A Denver brewery is offering a new beer with a kick. The Wynkoop Brewing Co. on Monday will begin offering customers a Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, but it doesn't contain shellfish. Rocky Mountain oysters are a delicate delicacy made from bull testicles.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 8- U.S. telecommunications operators should not do business with China's top telecom gear makers because potential Chinese state influence on the companies poses a security threat, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said in a report on Monday.

  • Oct 8- Gannett Co Inc said it reached a deal with Charles Ergen's Dish Network Corp on Monday avoiding a blackout that would have prevented some Dish customers in the United States from seeing content broadcast by networks ABC, NBC and CBS.

  • BETHESDA, Md.-- Lockheed Martin is reorganizing a portion of its business and cutting about 200 jobs. Lockheed Martin Corp. previously announced that Marillyn Hewson, who currently leads the electronic systems division, will become president and chief operating officer on Jan. 1. Kubasik will become the CEO of Lockheed Martin at the start of the new year.

  • --U.S. women's specialty apparel retailer Jill Holdings LLC amended financial covenants under its existing term loan. --We are also raising the issue-level rating on subsidiary JJ Lease Funding Corp.' s $120 million term loan B to' B-' from' CCC' and revising the recovery rating to' 3' from' 4'.