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NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Two key U.S. stock indexes on Friday fell toward probable monthly losses, with both the S&P 500 Index and Nasdaq Composite Index poised to break seven-month winning streaks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average , which had been down 270 points earlier on, was lately off 243.73 points at 9,718.85, leaving it six points above where it stood at the end of September. Should the blue chips fall under the 9,712.00 level, the Dow would snap a three-month streak of gains.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch
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.com for more information on this news.



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NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Crude oil futures slumped 3.6% on Friday, weighed down by mixed U.S. economic reports and a firmer dollar, but they still surged in October as weakness in the U.S. currency lifted most hard assets. Crude oil for December delivery finished down $2.87, or 3.6%, to finish at $77 a barrel. That's still 9% higher than where oil prices stood at the end of September. 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) -- U.S. stocks ended Friday sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average turning flat for the month after three straight months of gains, while the other two major indexes snapped seven-month winning streaks. Financial shares declined the most in the face of a possible bankruptcy by commercial lender CIT Group Inc. . The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 249.85 points, or 2.5%, to end at 9,712.73, leaving it off 2.6% for the week and effectively flat for October. The hit was the worst single-day point drop for the blue chips since April 20. The S&P 500 declined
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29.92 points, or 2.8%, to 1,036.19, a weekly loss of 4% and a 2% monthly decline. The Nasdaq Composite dumped 52.44 points, or 2.5%, to 2,045.11, down 5.1% from the week-ago close and off 3.6% for the month. 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) -- San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom withdrew from the California governor's race on Friday, according to media reports. Newsom cited his family and his responsibilities at City Hall for his decision, the reports said.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) -- The U.S. dollar gained on Friday after a report showed the Chicago purchasing managers index rose to 54.2% in October from 46.1% in September, the Chicago-NAPM said. That's a bigger gain than analysts expected. Readings over 50% indicate more firms said business was improving than said it was worsening. The dollar index [$dxy], which tracks the U.S. unit against a basket of other major currencies, traded at 76.152, down slightly from 75.979 in North American trade late Thursday. Still to come is the final revision to a report on consumer sentiment in October. The doll
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ar was higher before the Chicago report after the government said U.S. personal spending fell sharply in September while incomes were flat.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) -- Japanese shares headed broadly higher in early trading Friday in Tokyo. Japan's Nikkei 225 Average rose 1.3% to 10,024.03 and the Topix added 1.2% to 892.66 with Olympus Corp. a standout, up 7.5% after the Nikkei reported that the company likely narrowed the projected decline in operating profit for the first half of the fiscal year. But shares of Nintendo were 1.9% lower after the company reported Thursday that its first-half net profit fell 52%. Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 1.9% and Korea's Kospi rose 0.9%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news
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bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



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TEL AVIV (MarketWatch) -- Williams Cos., the Tulsa, Okla., natural-gas producer and distributor, reported that third-quarter net income fell 61%. Williams earned $143 million, or 24 cents a share, against $366 million, or 62 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings were 25 cents against 55 cents. A survey of analysts by FactSet Research produced a consensus estimate of 19 cents a profit. "Lower energy commodity prices in third-quarter 2009, compared to the relatively high prices in third-quarter 2008," hurt results from exploration and production and from midstream operations, Wi
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lliams said in a Thursday statement.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) -- Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it has mutually agreed with Microsoft Corp. to extend the period to negotiate and execute their planned Internet search and advertising partnership. While the companies had originally agreed to execute an agreement by Oct. 27, Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz said at a public appearance that, "We still have some things we want to nail down." Bartz emphasized that "there's no 'out' here, the letter agreement is binding." Yahoo is counting on the partnership to lend it considerable cost savings as it focuses on its display advertising b
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usiness. 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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HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- Bank of Communications , China's
fifth-largest lender by assets, reported Wednesday third-quarter net income of 7.32 billion yuan ($1.07 billion), or 0.15 yuan a share, a rise of 0.7% from the 7.21 billion yuan, or 0.14 yuan a share, a year earlier. The bank said the gains were related to improvements in net interest margin, which was at 2.22% at the end of September, up 1 basis point from the end of June, while impaired loans were at 1.44%, a decrease of 0.48 percentage point from the beginning of the year. Net interest income for the third quarter totaled 17.3
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9 billion yuan, a rise of 14.4% over the second quarter, and nudging up from 17.27 billion yuan in the year-earlier quarter. The Shanghai-based bank, also known as Bocom, is 18.6%-held by HSBC Holdings . Bocom said loans and advances to customers rose 36% while deposits were up 28.5% in the first nine months.
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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WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Managers of hedge funds and private-equity funds would be required to shed some light on their investments by registering with and opening their books to the Securities and Exchange Commission under legislation approved by a key congressional committee late Tuesday. Hedge funds and private equity managers are being singled out because many were overleveraged and overly interconnected with large problematic financial institutions such as American International Group Inc., the large insurance company that was propped up with a $190 billion taxpayer bailout. The provis
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ion was approved by a vote of 67-1.
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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