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Top News & Analysis Illinois

  • Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch set off a wave of conspiracy theories Friday by tweeting, "Unbelievable jobs numbers.. these Chicago guys will do anything.. can't debate so change numbers." "Chicago" refers to President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters. " _ "If there's anyone who knows about slashing American jobs, it's Jack Welsh.

  • *Supportive U.S. data offset by weak China, Europe reports. NEW YORK, Oct 5- Oil prices fell in volatile trading on Friday and posted weekly losses as a fragile global economy and uncertainty about Europe's debt crisis offset support from a better-than-expected U.S. employment report.

  • WASHINGTON-- The U.S. unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent for the first time since the month President Barack Obama took office, a surprising lift for both the economy and his re-election hopes in the final weeks of the campaign. It fell because a government survey of households found that 873,000 more people had jobs, the biggest jump since January 2003.

  • *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 to last before Nov. 6 elections By Lucia Mutikani.

  • *Fred Hassan to become non-executive chairman in January. Oct 5- Avon Products Inc will close the book on the Andrea Jung era at the end of the year, clearing the way for new Chief Executive Sheri McCoy to try to fix the iconic but struggling beauty products company.

  • CALGARY, Alberta, Oct 5- Canadian cash crude prices weakened for the fourth straight session on Friday as production from the Alberta oil sands looked set to increase for next month.

  • *White House slams Welch tweet as "ludicrous". BOSTON/ WASHINGTON, Oct 5- Jack Welch, the lionized former chairman of General Electric Co, provoked cries of outrage in Washington on Friday when he appeared to accuse the White House of manipulating September job figures for political gains.

  • *Supportive U.S. data offset by weak China, Europe reports. NEW YORK, Oct 5- Oil prices fell in volatile trading on Friday and posted weekly losses as a fragile global economy and uncertainty about Europe's debt crisis offset support from a better-than-expected U.S. employment report.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of data services company Neutral Tandem Inc. dropped sharply to a new low Friday as R.W. Baird analysts downgraded the company's rating, saying its financial performance has weakened more than expected.

  • NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina, Oct 5- R epresentatives from Air India took delivery on Friday of the first Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner made in South Carolina and the first manufactured outside Boeing Commercial Airplane's headquarters in Washington state.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 5- Tennessee confirmed on Friday four more cases of rare fungal meningitis, as health officials in 23 states scrambled to notify thousands of patients who received steroid injections linked to an outbreak that has killed five people. Three of the dead were in Tennessee, where the outbreak began, and one each in Virginia and Maryland.

  • FAIRFAX, Va., Oct 5- President Barack Obama on Friday hailed a drop in the U.S. jobless rate to the lowest level since he took office, saying the country has "come too far to turn back now," as he sought to recover from a lackluster debate performance against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

  • *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 to last before Nov. 6 elections By Lucia Mutikani.

  • *Fred Hassan to become nonexecutive chairman in January. By Jessica Wohl and Phil Wahba. Oct 5- Avon Products Inc.

  • KERNERSVILLE, N.C.-- A partnership between two behemoth builders of excavating machinery said Friday it plans to add 340 jobs at a North Carolina plant in return for incentives of more than $5 million while promising salaries below the local average.

  • CHICAGO, Oct 5- Ed Zwirner and his wife, Alison Loeppert, recently bought an historic house in the Chicago suburbs without brokers' fees, tight moving deadlines, undetected defects or other stresses that accompany one of life's biggest purchases. "It was the perfect solution for them and us," said Loeppert's mother, Alice Loeppert. "

  • CHICAGO-- Grain prices traded mixed Friday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for December delivery fell 1.75 cent to $8.6750 a bushel; December corn fell 7 cents to $7.50 a bushel; December oats were unchanged at $3.7075 a bushel; while November soybeans rose 4.50 cents to $15.56 a bushel.

  • *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 to last before Nov. 6 elections By Lucia Mutikani.

  • *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.

  • 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.