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Top News & Analysis United States

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 5- The European Union has closed investigations into whether the United States illegally subsidised and dumped bioethanol on the European market, finding no evidence of such moves, according to documents seen by Reuters.

  • *Zynga shares slide after warning, Facebook slips. *Sprint could counterbid on PCS- sources. NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. stocks rose on Friday, with the S&P 500 up for a fifth straight day and set to close at its highest since 2007, after government data showed a surprise drop in the unemployment rate.

  • *Turkey- Syria violence stokes supply concern. LONDON, Oct 5- Oil held above $112 per barrel on Friday after figures showed fewer people out of work in the United States, the world's biggest oil consumer.

  • NEW YORK-- Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors is narrowing its third-quarter adjusted earnings and revenue forecasts. The company said Friday that it now anticipates adjusted earnings between 53 cents and 59 cents per share. Analysts expect third-quarter earnings of 56 cents per share, according to FactSet, with estimates ranging from 55 cents to 58 cents..

  • *Fred Hassan to become nonexecutive chairman in January. Oct 5- Avon Products Inc said Executive Chairman Andrea Jung, who was replaced as chief executive officer in April, would step down from the board at the end of 2012, ending what became a tumultuous tenure in recent years and sending the company's shares up nearly 6 percent.

  • 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 asset claims, a major step toward customers and creditors recovering money.

  • Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, in response to questions from a television anchor casting doubt on the validity of the latest jobless rate figures, said the idea it was manipulated is "ludicrous." "I'm insulted when I hear that, because we have a very professional civil service organization.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- The failure of the U.S. housing market to fully respond to the Federal Reserve's easy money policies remains a headwind to overall economic growth, an influential U.S.

  • Peter Shumlin said Thursday that cell telephone and data service in parts of rural Caledonia and Orange counties will improve, thanks to a $2 million federal grant to the telecommunications company VTel.

  • CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- Century Aluminum Co.' s shuttered West Virginia plant would pay a special electricity rate for up to 10 years if it reopens, but ultimately must cover its entire energy costs from that time, the state's utility regulator ruled Thursday.

  • BATON ROUGE, La.-- The LSU governing board backed a plan Thursday to deepen cuts to $152 million for the university-run public hospitals that care for the poor and uninsured, eliminating dozens of inpatient beds, clinic services and nearly 1,500 jobs.

  • WASHINGTON-- President Barack Obama, reeling from a poor debate performance, won a valuable reprieve Friday with a reduced unemployment number in September that brought the jobless rate down to a level unseen since January 2009 when he took office.

  • Higher-end retailers like Bloomingdales's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are also dangling bonus dollars in front of their customers and tying them to store credit cards, according to Mary Delk, director in the retail practice of the consultancy Deloitte LLP in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 5- A top White House economic adviser said on Friday that the lower U.S. jobless rate in September showed the economy was continuing to recover but that more steps were needed to dig out of the deep hole created by recession.

  • NEW YORK-- Nearly 4,000 young people have participated in the first year of a sweeping effort to help young minority men in ways ranging from job internships to inmate education, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.

  • Benchmark oil is now down $1.25 to $90.46 per barrel in New York. Traders are trying to gauge the strength of global oil demand while watching developments surrounding Syria in the Middle East. In London, Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, was down 8 cents to $112.50.

  • NEW YORK-- An analyst reiterated his "Buy" rating on plane maker Boeing Co. Friday, noting a recent pullback in the stock and an improving mix of aircraft deliveries. Boeing delivered 10 new Apache attack helicopters, 18 Chinook cargo helicopters and 12 F-18 fighter-bomber jets in the third quarter.

  • WASHINGTON-- Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says a drop in the nation's unemployment rate to 7.8 percent "is not what a real recovery looks like." The former Massachusetts governor responded to the September jobs report out Friday by arguing that Obama has a failed record on the economy.

  • NEW YORK-- Stocks are rising in early trading on Wall Street after the government reported that the U.S. unemployment rate fell below 8 percent for the first time in almost four years. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 66 points to 13,641 shortly after the opening bell Friday.

  • DETROIT-- Drivers of the Hyundai Veloster could be in for a surprise while cruising down the highway. The probe affects about 18,000 vehicles from the 2012 model year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday. Hyundai said it is working with NHTSA on the investigation.