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Oct. 10, 2011 at 1:54 PM
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Markets follow Europe, head higher

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. markets rallied early Monday following gains in Europe sparked by comments from the German chancellor and French president concerning bank rescues.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Nicolas Sarkozy met Sunday and announced they were working out plans to recapitalize Europe's banks and restructure Greece's debt.

Details were sparse, indicating the negotiations were far from over, but investors in Europe were encouraged by the news.

On Wall Street, in early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average added 273.37 points or 2.46 percent to 11,376.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 33.36 points or 2.89 percent to 1,188.82. The Nasdaq composite index gained 74.76 points or 3.02 percent to 2,554.11.

The benchmark 10-year treasury note fell 23/32 to yield 2.068 percent.

The euro rose to $1.3657 from Friday's $1.3377. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 76.64 yen from Friday's 76.77 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 0.98 percent, 83.60, to 8,605.62.

U.S. seeking foreign investment increase

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The United States is setting its sights on $1 trillion in new foreign investment over five years, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

The goal is to increase foreign investment by 15 percent over the past 10-year average, which is $174 billion per year.

To reach the target, the Obama administration is expected to direct Cabinet secretaries to spend more of their time discussing investments with foreign chief executives officers. The Department of Commerce and the State Department will also put more staff to work helping foreign companies negotiate U.S. rules and regulations.

That would include helping companies find tax breaks or leverage investment for tax breaks, but it would not include creating new tax breaks to lure in investment, the Journal said.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't be a lot more aggressive and a lot more competitive and a lot more welcoming, and a lot hungrier, quite honestly, as a country, said General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt, chairman of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

"This still is the world's biggest economy. It still is an attractive place to do business," Immelt said recently at a State Department event.

Overall, the United States attracted 40 percent of the world's foreign investment total 10 years ago, a figure that has dropped to 17 percent, said economist Mathew Slaughter at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

UAW breaks off Chrysler talks for a day

DETROIT, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The United Auto Workers broke off contract talks with Chrysler Monday but they were expected to resume Tuesday, The Detroit News Reported.

Union negotiators were briefing local chapter leaders on the talks, which were broken off after a 24-hour session, the report said.

Chrysler's union workers are working with an extended contract that technically expired Sept. 14 but was extended until Oct. 19 by mutual agreement.

UAW members have ratified an agreement with General Motors and are voting on a tentative agreement with Ford Motor Co.

Sonic CEO: It was right to fight order

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Sonic.net Inc. Chief Executive Officer Dane Jasper said opposing a secret government order to turn over client information was the "right thing to do."

The order involved a government investigation of Jacob Applebaum, a volunteer with WikiLeaks, who has not been charged with any crime.

Fighting the order was "rather expensive but we felt it was the right thing to do," Jasper told The Wall Street Journal.

Sonic appealed to block the order but lost in its bid to do so.

Since U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is investigating WikiLeaks, Sonic and Google have received orders to turn over the e-mail addresses of people who have used the Internet to correspond with Applebaum, but not the e-mails themselves, the Journal reported Monday.

Google has not commented on the issue, the Journal said.

The order was issued under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act written in 1986, three years before the World Wide Web was envisioned.

Some say the request is akin to asking a company to turn over an individual's personal address book.

The government argues the request is more aligned with asking for a public phone book than a personal one. However, the court orders can be issued in secret. Both Sonic and Google petitioned for permission to inform Applebaum of the investigation but the law is set up in a manner that prohibits this.

Google, Microsoft Corp. and AT&T are among the firms lobbying to update the law.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said in May the law was "significantly outdated and outpaced by rapid changes in technology."

Leahy has introduced a bill to update the law.

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