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SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The Office of Thrift Supervision on Friday shut down Home Federal Savings Bank of Detroit, Michigan, making it the 117th bank closure of 2009. All deposit accounts have been transferred to Liberty Bank and Trust Company of New Orleans, Louisiana. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures rose to a new record high of $1,100 an ounce Friday after data showed the U.S. unemployment rate topped 10% in October, raising the metal's appeal as a safe asset. Gold for November delivery gained 1% to $1,100 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest level for a front-month contract. The more actively traded December contract rose to $1,101.90 an ounce. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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TOKYO (MarketWatch) -- Japan's Nikkei 225 Average climbed 1.1% to 9,825.76 and the Topix was at 878.18, up 0.4% Friday morning in Tokyo, with NEC Corp. among the biggest gainers, up 6.1%. The company announced the issuance of new shares as part of a move to help reduce fixed costs by 290 billion yen ($3.2 billion) in the fiscal year. Panasonic Corp.'s stock was up 0.4% as it launched its tender for Sanyo Electric Co. . In South Korea, the Kospi climbed 1.6%, while the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2% in Sydney.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move.
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NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Sara Lee Corp. said Thursday that first-quarter earnings were $284 million, or 41 cents a share, compared to $230 million, or 32 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. On a continuing-operations basis, earnings per share were steady at 27 cents a share. Sales fell to $2.59 billion compared to $2.79 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet Research estimated, on average, earnings per share of 19 cents and sales of $3.17 billion. The food-and-beverage company raised its 2010 adjusted earnings-per-share forecast to a range of 90 cents to 96 cents. Fact Set analysts' f
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orecast averaged 91 cents for 2010.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Australian stocks reversed a lower open and moved into positive territory in early action, with the S&P/ASX 200 index gaining 0.2% to 4,550.0. Energy names pulled higher, with Woodside Petroluem Ltd. up 1.2%, and Origin Energy Ltd. adding 1.1%. News Corp. , the owner of MarketWatch, also enjoyed an early advance, up 2.3%, after it reported its fiscal first-quarter income rose 11%, helped by international box office proceeds from the film "Ice Age: Dawn Of the Dinosaurs" and higher fees at its cable channels.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news burst
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s on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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LONDON (MarketWatch) -- September producer prices in the 16-nation euro zone were down 7.7% from the same month last year, the statistics agency Eurostat reported Wednesday. Compared to August, prices fell 0.4%. Both figures were in line with expectations. The euro saw little reaction to the data and remains up 0.3% versus the U.S. dollar at $1.4754. The drop was driven in large part by declines in energy prices. Energy prices were down 17.6% compared to September last year and fell 1.9% from August, Eurostat said. Excluding energy and construction prices, PPI fell at a year-on-year rate of 4.
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3%, while posting no change from August.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Montpelier Re Holdings said late Tuesday that third-quarter net income came in at $148 million, or $1.68 a share, up from a net loss of $142.2 million, or $1.69 a share, a year earlier. Operating profit, which excludes net realized investment gains and losses, came in at $62 million, or 71 cents a share, in the latest period. Montpelier Re was expected to make 72 cents a share, according to the average estimate of five analysts in a Thomson Reuters survey.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch
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MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Dutch semiconductor-equipment group ASML Holding was upgraded to buy from hold on Tuesday at Nomura, which cited evidence of a firm capital expenditure outlook and noted a recent stockprice correction. The investment bank predicted possible strong flash orders at the start of next year, which it said could trigger a string of consensus upgrades. ASML trades at a discount to the overall market, on a price/earnings basis excluding cash, said Nomura. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more i
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nformation on this news.



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NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Gold futures gained more than 1% to settle above $1,050 an ounce on Monday, as upbeat economic reports from the U.S., China and Europe put early pressure on the dollar, lifting the appeal of the precious metal. Gold for December delivery gained $13.60, or 1.3%, to end at $1,054 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract earlier rose as high as $1,062.40 an ounce but lost ground as stocks began selling off, lifting demand for the dollar as a safe haven. After its official close on NYMEX, gold turned negative in electronic trade, recently losing 30 cents
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. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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TEL AVIV (MarketWatch) -- Human Genome Sciences Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline Plc said that their potential lupus drug, Benlysta, met its primary endpoint in the second of two Phase III trials. Over 52 weeks, the drug, generically belimumab, plus standard of care "achieved a statistically significant improvement in patient-response rate" compared with placebo plus standard of care, the companies said in a statement on Monday. Human Genome, Rockville, Md., and GlaxoSmithKline, London, said the drug was generally well tolerated. This study will continue for another 24 weeks. After discussing the d
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rug with regulators in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, the companies plan to request marketing clearance in first-half 2010.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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