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Top News & Analysis United States

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 5- The number of people stricken with a rare form of meningitis linked to steroid injections rose to 47 in seven U.S. states, the Centers for Disease Control said on Friday, but the number of people killed by the outbreak remained at five. Other states with cases are Tennessee, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina and Indiana.

  • WASHINGTON-- The Inter-American Development Bank is providing $8 billion in credit for Latin American and Caribbean countries for programs to aid the poor who are affected by outside financial events and for emergency needs in natural disasters.

  • Oct 5- American Airlines said on Friday it had repaired seat locks on 42 of 48 Boeing 757 jets after some seats came loose during flights this week. In recent days, three separate incidents occurred in which seats on American Airlines flights came unbolted from the floor, prompting an investigation by the FAA and jet inspections.

  • A big drop in the unemployment rate wasn't enough for investors Friday. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate had declined to 7.8 percent, its first dip below 8 percent in nearly four years. The drop to 7.8 percent in the unemployment rate "really is not a big game-changer," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "

  • Houston- based Southwestern Energy Co. was the only company named in the original version of the suit, which was filed in August. Southwestern Energy filed a motion to dismiss the original suit, arguing the plaintiffs didn't show they had a claim.

  • Nashville, Tenn.- based Corrections Corporation of America has been firmly rebuked by Ohio officials for conditions identified at Lake Erie Correctional Facility, along the shores of Lake Erie. The September management review was released to The Associated Press on Friday.

  • *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.

  • TORONTO, Oct 5- Toronto's main stock index backed away from its highest level in nearly three weeks on Friday as concerns about weakness in the global economy hurt commodity prices, countering unexpectedly strong North American jobs data.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- The year-long rally in junk bonds hit a bump in the road this past week, with investors beginning to show concern about high-yield debt valuations, analysts said.

  • *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.

  • PARIS/ FRANKFURT, Oct 5- Tensions over a supermerger between EADS and BAE Systems spilled into the open on Friday and cast doubt on a rapidly approaching deadline as France, Britain and Germany jockeyed over the role of the state in the world's largest aerospace and arms group.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 5- U.S. natural gas futures ended lower in the front-month November contract pressured by Thursday's bearish weekly inventory report and by forecasts for mild mid-month weather that should slow demand.

  • LOS ANGELES-- 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.

  • DALLAS-- American Airlines says it has repaired 42 of 48 planes that were pulled aside and inspected because the seats could come loose. "We sincerely apologize to our customers for any inconvenience this may cause with their travel plans," said spokeswoman Andrea Huguely.

  • He named Family Dollar Stores Inc. as his top pick among the group, rating it at "Outperform" with an $81 price target. The analyst also rated Dollar Tree Inc. at "Outperform" with a $55 target price. In afternoon trading, Family Dollar shares added 42 cents to $69.07; Dollar Tree shares rose $1.33, or 2.8 percent, to $48.18 and Dollar General shares fell 27 cents to $51.80.

  • Scott Walker praised the latest national jobs figures showing a drop in the unemployment rate to its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, but he refused to credit Obama's policies for the improvement.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 5- U.S. consumer credit rebounded strongly in August after posting its first decline in nearly a year in July, Federal Reserve data showed on Friday. U.S. consumer credit rose $18.12 billion, the biggest gain since May, following July's revised $2.45 billion decline.

  • 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.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 5- U.S. consumer credit rebounded strongly in August after posting its first decline in nearly a year in July, Federal Reserve data showed on Friday. U.S. consumer credit rose $18.12 billion, the biggest gain since May, following July's revised $2.45 billion decline.

  • *Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank Securities are lead underwriters. Goldman Sachs& Co, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank Securities are the lead underwriters to the offering, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.