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Top News & Analysis Washington DC

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- Activist investor fund Third Point has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy an unspecified stake in Murphy Oil Corp, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

  • VP Candidates Square Off Tonight

    CNBC's John Harwood reports the latest presidential poll results, and weighs in on what to expect to hear from Vice President Biden, and GOP challenger, Paul Ryan in tonight's debate.

  • *Some nuclear experts worry about proliferation risks* They say laser enrichment plants smaller, harder to detect* Iran says it "possesses" laser know-how but won't use it By Fredrik Dahl.

  • WASHINGTON-- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages ticked up from record lows last week. Cheaper mortgages are fueling a modest housing recovery that could help the broader economy. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30- year loan increased to 3.39 percent from 3.36 percent.

  • PORTLAND, Maine-- Amtrak as well as its Downeaster passenger service between Maine and Boston have set new ridership records. Records were also set in other regions of the country, including New England.

  • The news could help President Barack Obama in his tight race for re-election on Nov. 6 against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who says Obama has mishandled the economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the Labor Department said.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted last week to seasonally adjusted 339,000, the lowest level in more than four years. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell by 30,000 to the fewest since February 2008.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

  • WASHINGTON-- The U.S. trade deficit widened in August from July because exports fell to the lowest level in six months. The deficit grew 4.1 percent to $44.2 billion in August, the biggest gap since May, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Exports dropped 1 percent to $181.3 billion.

  • WASHINGTON-- The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid plummeted to 339,000 last week, the lowest level in more than four years. The Labor Department says weekly applications fell by 30,000 to the lowest level since February 2008.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labor market.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 11- The U.S. trade deficit widened in August, in line with analyst expectations, as U.S. goods exports fell for the fifth consecutive month, a government report showed on Thursday. The monthly trade gap increased to $44.2 billion, from an upwardly revised estimate of $42.5 billion in July, the Commerce Department said.

  • Oct 11- Commerce Department report of U.S. international trade. Trade in goods and services on balance of payments basis,. Aug July Jan-Aug12 Aug11 Jan-Aug11 Balance -44.22 -42.47 -374.37 -44.78 -369.13 Exports 181.28 183.19 1,459.55 178.38 1,389.53 Imports 225.50 225.65 1,833.92 223.16 1,758.66.

  • Oct 11- U.S. Labor Department report of U.S. import and export price changes by percent.

  • *IRS taking' hard line' on accounting issue-lawyer. The dispute centers on an accounting practice- known as the "completed contract method"- that the IRS has scrutinized for years.

  • WASHINGTON, Oct 10- In 2008, singer will.i.am provided Barack Obama's presidential campaign with music for its signature anthem, "Yes We Can." On Tuesday, at a rally for Obama in Columbus, Ohio, the performer chose to play something new: the theme song for "Sesame Street."

  • Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday that financial reforms and other actions in response to the global crisis are yielding results, helping the U.S. economy to grow at a pace better than there was reason to expect.

  • LONDON, Oct 11- BAE Systems warned on Thursday that it faced uncertainty in its core market, the United States, a day after the collapse of talks with EADS.

  • WASHINGTON-- Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney is promising to get tough on China to help American workers, but his plans could backfire. Romney is pledging, on his first day in office, to designate China a currency manipulator, a step no administration has taken against any country for 18 years.

  • By Pedro Nicolaci da Costa. WASHINGTON, Oct 11- U.S. unemployment remains "painfully high" while inflation is not an immediate concern, giving the Federal Reserve plenty of reason to launch a new stimulus last month, a top Fed official said on Thursday.