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Oct. 4, 2011 at 6:29 PM
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Late gains turn stocks around

NEW YORK, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. markets were jumped with less than an hour of trading left, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average to a 1.44 percent gain on the day.

Stocks started lower then turned mixed after Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke testified that policy makers had more stimulus options left.

Bernanke also painted a dour picture saying the U.S. economic recovery is close to "faltering."

By close of trading on Wall Street, the DJIA added 153.41 points to 10,808.71. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 24.72 points, 2.25 percent, to 1,123.95. The Nasdaq composite index of tech-dominated stocks added 68.99 points, or 2.95 percent, to 2,404.82.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,872 stocks advanced and 1,232 declined on a volume of 6.7 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 21/32 to yield 1.831 percent.

The euro rose to $1.3309 from Monday's $1.3176. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 76.90 yen from Monday's 76.64 yen.

In Asia, stocks fell 0.26 percent in China and 3.4 percent in Hong Kong. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index lost 1.05 percent, 89.36, to 8,456.12.

In Europe, the Belgium Bel-20 took a dive, falling 2.765 percent. The DAX 30 in Germany lost 2.98 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 index dropped 2.58 percent, 131.06, to 4,944.44.

No major markets indexes showed gains in Europe. In Asia, only Taiwan's TAIEX showed gains, modestly up 0.48 percent.

China reacts to U.S. Senate vote on yuan

BEIJING, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- China reacted quickly to the U.S. Senate vote that would pave the way for the country to be declared a currency manipulator, saying it was unfair and illegal.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the bill, which passed with a 78-19 vote, violates World Trade Organization rules, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

China's central bank said the bill would do more harm than good, as it would "seriously affect" the country's process of raising the value of its currency, while not providing significant relief to the U.S. economy.

The Ministry of Commerce called the bill "unfair."

UBS economist Wang Tao said, "China won't yield to the pressure from the United States or change its gradual approach to yuan exchange-rate reform."

China has been allowing its currency to appreciate, but at a pace connected to economic goals of its own.

The Obama administration has been putting pressure on China to accelerate the pace of the yuan's appreciation but has stopped short of pushing to label the country a currency manipulator, which opens up the possibility of imposing tariffs on Chinese goods.

In September, the yuan fell 0.1 percent against the dollar, although it has risen 6.9 percent since June. Some economist, however, estimate the yuan is 20 percent to 40 percent undervalued, giving its exports a serious price advantage.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "For years and years and years, Americans have grimaced, shrugged their shoulders, but never done anything effective" to deal with the unfair exchange rate.

"They use the rules of free trade when it benefits them, and spurn the rules of free trade when it benefits them," Schumer said.

Cummings critical of foreclosure abuses

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A ranking House committee Democrat in Washington blasted a federal watchdog agency for its apparent failure to regulate foreclosure abuses.

In a statement, Rep. Elija Cummings, D-Md., said he found "the systematic failures by FHFA (the Federal Housing Finance Agency) and Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association) to adequately oversee these foreclosure law firms to be a breach of the public trust and an assault on the integrity of our justice system," The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Cummings' remarks came on the heels of an inspector general's report that criticizes the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees two of the nation's largest mortgage brokers.

"American homeowners have been struggling with the effects of the housing finance crisis for several years, and they shouldn't have to worry whether they will be victims of foreclosure abuse," said Steve Linick, the inspector general for the agency.

The inspector general said that mortgage broker Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae, had been aware of foreclosure abuses in 2003.

The FHFA, however, did not react to the abuses until mid-2010, and then when it did, its response was ineffective, the report says.

In late 2010, for example, the FHFA warned Fannie Mae of the problems, but did not require Fannie Mae to respond to the warning.

Canada ranked No. 1 for doing business

NEW YORK, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Canada was ranked as the No. 1 country in the world in which to do business by Forbes magazine Tuesday.

In its annual "Best Countries for Business" ranking, the magazine said Canada had "skirted the banking meltdown" that crippled the United States and Europe and has a $1.6 trillion economy that grew 3.1 percent last year.

The United States slipped from ninth to last place in the Top 10.

Forbes noted Canada is the largest oil supplier to the United States and is also the largest exporter southward. Despite that reliance, the magazine said Canada had maintained an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent during the financial crises that began in 2007, compared with a U.S. jobless rate above 9 percent.

Among the 11 criteria Forbes used in its rankings of some 130 countries were personal and financial freedom, taxes, corruption, technology, stock performance and property rights.

Following Canada, the second most favorable country for doing business the magazine cited was New Zealand, followed by Hong Kong, Ireland, Denmark, Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Britain and the United States.

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