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Top News & Analysis United States

  • NEW YORK-- Boeing Co. and the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric Co. have agreed on a firm order for 85 737 s. With this order, GE Capital Aviation Services has ordered 580 airplanes directly from Boeing since 1995..

  • LONDON, Oct 3- Crude oil tanker earnings on the major Middle East route were weaker on Wednesday as slow business and a surplus of vessel availability took their toll on rate sentiment.

  • CHICAGO-- A consumer watchdog group says this summer's extreme heat boosted the bills of Commonwealth Edison customers by about $64 million. But the Citizens Utility Board also said Tuesday that customers could've reduced most of that increase by changing their habits.

  • The price of oil plunged Wednesday on more evidence of slower growth in China. Benchmark oil fell $2.93, or 3.2 percent, Wednesday to $88.96 per barrel in afternoon trading in New York. China is the world's second largest economy and a huge importer of commodities like oil.

  • BISMARCK, N.D.-- A national ratings agency says the state-owned Bank of North Dakota is in great shape. Standard& Poor's says the ratings could decline if the state's economy weakens, but it says North Dakota's economic prospects are good right now. Jack Dalrymple is chairman of the North Dakota Industrial Commission.

  • LINCOLN, Neb.-- Nebraska farmers and ranchers are being encouraged to apply for grants that will help them test out practices to deal with drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has up to $5 million available for the grants.

  • TORONTO, Oct 3- Shares of Air Canada contract carrier Chorus Aviation Inc fell nearly 10 percent on Wednesday, and an analyst warned it might have to cut its dividend, after an arbitration panel ruled in favor of Air Canada in a cost dispute.

  • THOMASTON, Ga.-- Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy voiced his support for "Biblical families" in one of his first interviews since his earlier comments caused controversy regarding gay marriage. Cathy made the comments over the weekend at an event at his family's Georgia ranch.

  • TRENTON, N.J.-- Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi SA said Wednesday that they are restructuring their longtime partnership selling popular heart medications, now that their sales are plunging due to recent, widespread competition from generic versions.

  • WHAT: Labor Department Initial Jobless Claims, weekly. IFR COMMENTARY: "Initial unemployment insurance claims were volatile around and after the Labor Day holiday, but we look for them to settle in now at around 365 k. We look for continuing claims for the week ended Sept. 22 to move up a bit from 3.271 mln to 3.280 mln.

  • --Dallas- based Roofing Supply Group LLC plans to increase its seven-year bank term loan B by $25 million to $315 million and will utilize proceeds to repay revolving credit borrowings.

  • *SEC says eBX gave outside firm customer order data. *eBX to pay $800,000 to settle SEC charges. The SEC alleged that eBX erroneously told its users that their buy and sell orders would not be shared outside the company, but an outside technology firm was allowed to use the data for its own business interests.

  • The boards of both companies voted on Wednesday to approve the deal, which will see Deutsche Telekom hold 74 percent and MetroPCS 26 percent in the combined entity.

  • *Gasoline inventories rise slightly in week to Sept. 28. NEW YORK, Oct 3- U.S. crude oil stocks declined unexpectedly last week and distillate inventories fell more steeply than forecast, government data showed on Wednesday.

  • CHICAGO, Oct 3- Ask Macy Gray about her net worth, and the Grammy-winning R&B singer and songwriter is not sure- though she is perfectly willing to help out with a little online research. exclaims Gray, 45, an Ohio native who calls Los Angeles home. " It says here I'm worth $38 million.

  • NEW YORK-- Canadian drugmaker Aeterna Zentaris Inc. said Wednesday that it will conduct a six-for-one reverse stock split to boost its share price and regain compliance with Nasdaq rules.

  • NEW YORK-- Shares of LifeLock fell more than 3 percent in its first day of trading as the online provider of identity theft protection services priced its initial public offering below the anticipated range. LifeLock disclosed in a September regulatory filing that it expected the offering of 15.7 million shares to price between $9.50 and $11.50 each.

  • *China, Europe services PMI disappoint. LONDON, Oct 3- Oil fell sharply on Wednesday as weak economic data from Europe and China dimmed the outlook for demand, adding to concerns arising from Europe's festering debt crisis. Brent November crude futures had fallen $3.27 to $108.30 a barrel by 1454 GMT.

  • LOS ANGELES-- James Bond hasn't been sipping martinis and firing his Walther in the game world for nearly as long as he has in movie theaters, but the gadget-loving secret agent's nearly 30- year history spanning more than 20 video games is almost unmatched in Hollywood, where video game tie-ins with the latest blockbusters are commonplace nowadays.

  • **SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS INC, $40.19, up 168 pct. **BIOLASE INC, $2.11, up 27 pct. The company said health regulators in Europe and the United States approved its laser device for use in soft tissue surgery, teeth whitening, and pain therapy.