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WASHINGTON — A surprising drop in hiring and in people looking for jobs in August was a reminder that the steady recovery of the U.S. economy remains prone to temporary slowdowns. Employers added just 142,000 jobs, well below the average of the previous 12 months. The unemployment rate fell to 6.1 percent from 6.2 percent, but that was because more people without jobs stopped looking for one and were no longer counted as unemployed. Analysts noted that other gauges of the job market remain solid and that month-to-month volatility in hiring is common even in a healthy economy. By Christopher S. Rugaber. SENT: 1,010 words.


— ECONOMY-DEMOGRAPHICS-GLANCE — Though U.S. job growth slowed last month, the unemployment rate fell, especially for younger demographic groups. SENT: 300 words.


NEW YORK — Americans' obsession with jeans is beginning to wear thin. Jeans long have been a staple in U.S. closets. But sales of the iconic blues fell 6 percent this past year after decades of almost steady growth. Why? People more often are sporting yoga pants, leggings and other athletic bottoms around town instead of traditional denim. The shift is partly due to a lack of new jean designs since brightly colored skinny ones were all the rage a couple years ago. It's also a reflection of changing views about what's appropriate attire for work, school and other places that used to call for more formalwear. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.


— JEANS-FUTURE-GLANCE — History of Jeans. SENT: 300 words.


NEW YORK — Websites like Groupon have become the go-to place for folks looking for that half-off deal on a manicure, a two-for-one offer for a fancy dinner or that all-inclusive trip that won't break the bank. But increasingly, it's also becoming the place for music fans to scoop up deep discounts on concert tickets, CDs and more for top-name acts. By Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu. SENT: 830 words, photos.


Instead of lending to just the government or some faceless corporation, what if your bond mutual fund also helped to vaccinate kids around the world? Managers at a growing number of mutual funds are seeking bonds that not only perform well but also come from issuers that do good things for the environment, society and corporate governance. It's a concept called socially responsible investing, and it used to be mainly the province of stock mutual funds. But a proliferation of "green bonds," whose proceeds are used to finance projects with environmental benefits, and similar investments mean more bond funds are using a socially responsible lens. SENT: 930 words.


SAN FRANCISCO — China's Alibaba Group is seeking to raise up to $24.3 billion in its upcoming IPO, an amount that would be the most ever raised by a company heading into its stock market debut. By Michael Liedtke. SENT: 300 words. UPCOMING: 600 words by 6 p.m.



NEW YORK — A surge in dividend-rich utility stocks help push the Standard & Poor's 500 index close to a record. Investors buy up the stocks after the government reports that U.S. employers added fewer jobs than forecast for August. That boosted demand for bonds and pushed down their yields. In turn, stocks with big dividends became more attractive to investors seeking income-paying securities. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 780 words, photos.

— DETROIT BANKRUPTCY — Detroit's chief financial officer is set to return to the witness stand for a second day in the city's historic bankruptcy trial. SENT: 400 words, photos.



CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Family Dollar is rejecting Dollar General's latest acquisition offer, and Dollar Tree says it will now divest as many stores as needed to get antitrust clearance for its deal to buy Family Dollar. SENT: 500 words.


NEW ORLEANS — Environmentalists, recreational fishermen and people who make their living on the Gulf of Mexico are hailing a federal judge's ruling that could mean $18 billion in additional fines for BP over the nation's worst offshore oil spill. By Michael Kunzelman And Janet McConnaughey. SENT: 885 words, photos.


PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. — Using sonar, a team of scientists and divers ventures into the waters of Washington state's Puget Sound to clean up and learn about why over 12,000 crab pots are lost every year. By Manuel Valdes. SENT: 640 words, photos, video.

— GERMANY-LUFTHANSA STRIKE — Lufthansa has canceled more than 200 short-haul flights as a result of a planned six-hour strike by pilots at Frankfurt airport, its main hub. SENT: 135 words, photo.

— NASCAR-EARNHARDT-NATIONWIDE — Nationwide will be the primary sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting next season under an expanded agreement with Hendrick Motorsports. SENT: 250 words.

— MERCEDES-ALABAMA — Mercedes has announced plans to start building a fifth model, the ML Coupe, at its Alabama plant next year. SENT: 140 words.

— SOLAR PLANT-NEVADA — Company and federal officials have marked the start of construction on a $1 billion solar power generating station in the desert 50 miles south of Las Vegas. SENT: 380 words.

— IRS-INVESTIGATION — After investigating the IRS for more than a year, two key senators — a Democrat and a Republican — disagree on whether the tax agency treated conservative groups worse than their liberal counterparts when they applied for tax-exempt status. SENT: 610 words.

— KERYX-DRUG APPROVAL — Keryx Biopharmaceuticals shares fall as the company received U.S. approval for its pill to treat kidney disease complications but the clearance required unexpected safety warnings. SENT: 410 words.

— BUD LIGHT TOWN — Up for whatever? For some in the tiny and tony Colorado resort town of Crested Butte that would be a no. They aren't too thrilled with a virtual takeover by Anheuser-Busch this weekend to film an over-the-top commercial for Bud Light beer and its "Up for Whatever" ad campaign. SENT: 430 words.

— TESLA BATTERY FACTORY — Nevada Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick says it's too early to say whether a huge package of tax breaks and incentives needed to land Tesla Motors Inc.'s lithium battery factory will have smooth sailing at a special legislative session next week. SENT: 140 words.



NEW YORK — Motorola unveiled a circular smartwatch, counting on design to win over consumers who have so far shunned these computerized wrist devices. The company says consumers have held back so far because previous smartwatches from other companies have had rectangular faces. Motorola's Moto 360 is round and looks more like a regular watch. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 580 words.


BEIJING — China's broadcasting authority says every foreign TV show and movie shown on online streaming sites will have to be approved by authorities or else go offline early next year. SENT: 450 words, photos.

— APPLE-SECURITY — Apple is planning to add more security measures to help protect its users following a celebrity photo hacking incident. SENT: 490 words.

— TECH JOBS-SETTLEMENT APPEAL — Four tech companies including Apple and Google are appealing a judge's rejection of a $324.5 million settlement for a class-action lawsuit brought by more than 60,000 high-tech workers. SENT: 130 words.



LONDON — Europe has gotten another dose of stimulus. But the latest medicine by itself will not bring life to an economy that over the past six years has slid from crisis to crisis. By Business Writers Pan Pylas And David McHugh. SENT: 975 words, photo.

— GERMANY-ECONOMY — German factory output rebounds in July, another sign Europe's biggest economy still growing. SENT: 110 words.

— INDIA-AUSTRALIA — Australian prime minister expected to sign uranium export deal with India. SENT: 250 words, photos.

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Chips ahead

Gadget lovers are anxiously waiting for the anticipated announcement of Apple's iPhone 6 next week. The strong demand for smartphones and tablets, and the easing slump in PC sales has been great for semiconductor companies. The stocks in the S&P 500 semiconductor index are up an average 25 percent this year. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.


Quiksilver shares plunge

Shares of Quiksilver plummeted Friday following news of the company's fiscal third-quarter loss of $1.29 per share. UPCOMING: Graphic expected by 6 p.m.