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Dow, Nasdaq Lose Ground; S&P 500 Books Slight Gain

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that U.S. import prices rose 1.1% in September versus 1.1% in August, and that export prices increased 0.8% in September compared with 1% in August.

The FTSE 100 in London closed up 0.92% and the DAX in Germany finished up 1.06% Thursday as Italian bond yields eased following a warmer reception of an auction of three-year government bonds.

The Nikkei Average in Tokyo closed down 0.58% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong finished up 0.38%.

November crude oil futures rose 82 cents to close at $92.07 a barrel. December gold futures settled up $5.50 at $1,770.60 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 1/32, diluting the yield to 1.674%. The dollar was down 0.40%, according to the dollar index.

In corporate news, Sprint (S) confirmed that it is in talks with Softbank on a "potential substantial investment by Softbank" and that it does not intend to comment further "unless and until an agreement is reached."

Earlier reports had said that Japan's Softbank is in talks to buy Sprint for more than 1.5 trillion yen ($19 billion).

Sprint shares surged 14.3%.

Precious metals royalty company Royal Gold ( RGLD) said it's planning an offering of 5.25 million shares of common stock. Shares fell 4.1%.

Safeway (SWY) shares were down 3.6% after the food and drug retailer said that its third-quarter profit margin declined amid expenses tied to the launch of its customer loyalty program.

Earnings came in at 45 cents a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 43 cents a share.

Revenues fell to $10.05 billion, falling short of the expected $10.24 billion, from $10.06 billion following the company's sale of the Genuardi's chain and negative currency effects.

--Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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