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Rising legal costs push JPMorgan to rare loss

NEW YORK (AP) — Mounting legal costs pushed JPMorgan Chase to a rare loss in the third quarter, the first under the leadership of Jamie Dimon.

The largest U.S. bank by assets set aside $9.2 billion in the quarter to cover a string of litigation stemming from the housing crisis and the bank’s “London Whale” trading debacle.

JPMorgan said it has placed a total of $23 billion in reserve to cover potential legal costs, including the $9.2 billion.

In a conference call with reporters, CEO Dimon called the costs “painful,” but said they reflected “the reality we have to deal with.”

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New GOP shutdown/debt plan, but no agreement yet

WASHINGTON (AP) — Efforts accelerated in Congress on Friday to keep the U.S. Treasury from defaulting as early as next week and to end the partial government shutdown that stretched through an 11th day. At the White House and Capitol, President Barack Obama and top aides consulted repeatedly with both House and Senate Republicans.

There was no shortage of suggestions. Yet there also was no evidence of agreement to end crises that have caused financial markets to shudder and interest rates to rise, while closing some federal offices and sending 350,000 workers home on furlough, without pay.

Senate and House Republicans each offered to reopen the government and raise the $16.7 trillion debt limit — but only as part of broader approaches that envision deficit savings, changes to the health care law known as Obamacare and an easing of across-the-board spending cuts that the White House and Congress both dislike. The details and timing differed.

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Sony CEO praises Japan leader for ‘Abenomics’

TOKYO (AP) — The chief of Sony Corp., one of the best known Japanese companies, praised the country’s prime minister Friday for his efforts to jump-start the economy and put the nation back on the global stage.

Sony leader Kazuo Hirai said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office late last year, is restoring global confidence in Japan, while stressing that delivering on promises with action was critical.

Abe is banking on policies dubbed “Abenomics” that centre on structural reforms, easy monetary policy, relaxed labour regulations and free trade to return to growth. Still, he has not outlined a concrete plan that would overcome the challenges presented by Japan’s aging population and shrinking workforce.

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France upholds ban on hydraulic fracturing

PARIS (AP) — France’s constitutional council upheld a ban on the energy extraction process known as fracking on Friday, two days after the European Parliament voted to require full environmental reports from companies that want to establish hydraulic fracturing sites.

The decision comes the same day the International Energy Agency predicted the United States would overtake Russia next year to become the world’s largest oil producer outside OPEC, renewing questions about Europe’s ability to compete in a shifting energy landscape.

French President Francois Hollande had promised to maintain the ban imposed by his predecessor in 2011, even though France had been named among the most promising European countries for shale gas extraction. The French, who rely largely on nuclear energy, fear the environmental costs of hydraulic fracturing are too steep.

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Del Monte sells foods business to focus on pets

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Del Monte Foods is selling off its fruit and vegetable business to focus instead on tasty vittles for pets.

The San Francisco-based company said Friday that it is selling its consumer products business, which includes canned Del Monte pineapple and Contadina tomatoes, to Del Monte Pacific Ltd. in Asia for $1.68 billion. It will then begin catering solely to the tastes of furrier consumers through its pets business, which includes brands such as Pup-Peroni, Meow Mix and Milk-Bones.

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By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 111.04 points, or 0.7 per cent, to close at 15,237.11 Friday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.64 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 1,703.20. The Nasdaq composite rose 31.13 points, 0.8 per cent, at 3,791.87.

Benchmark crude for November delivery fell 99 cents to close at $102.02 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Natural gas rose 6 cents to $3.78 per 1,000 cubic feet. Wholesale gasoline dropped 3 cents to $2.67 a gallon. Heating oil lost 4 cents to $3.03 a gallon.

Brent, the benchmark for international crudes, fell 52 cents to $111.28 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.