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News Wrap: Jobs Report Fuels New Rally on Wall Street

October 8, 2010 at 12:00 AM EDT
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HARI SREENIVASAN: The jobs report fueled a new rally on Wall Street.
Stocks moved higher on hopes the Federal Reserve will take new action to
stimulate the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 58 points to close above
11000 for the first time in five months. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to close
near 2402. For the week, the Dow gained 1.6 percent; the Nasdaq rose 1.3
percent.

The foreclosure mess got worse today. Bank of America, the nation’s
largest, expanded a week-old freeze on selling foreclosed homes to all 50
states. The bank is reviewing thousands of cases over concerns that employees
signed legal documents without reading them.

For the record, Bank of America is an underwriter of the “NewsHour.”

And PNC Financial Services Group halted foreclosure sales in 23 states
that handle the process through courts. It’s the fourth major lender to do so.

Retired General James Jones is stepping down as national security
adviser. The announcement today was the latest high-level departure in the
Obama White House.

The general’s departure had been expected, and President Obama made it
official this afternoon.

U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Serving as national
security adviser is one of the most difficult jobs in our government. But,
through it all, Jim, like the Marine he has always been, has been a dedicated
public servant and a friend to me.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps has
served as national security chief for two years. In that position, he worked on
winding down the U.S. combat mission in Iraq and on the decision to send more
troops to Afghanistan. He will be replaced by his top deputy, Tom Donilon.

BARACK OBAMA: He has served three presidents and been immersed in our
national security for decades. Over the last two years, there’s not a single
critical national security issue that has not crossed Tom’s desk.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Donilon is shown as deeply skeptical of the troop
surge in Afghanistan in Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars.” It also quotes Defense Secretary Robert Gates as saying Donilon would be a disaster as national security adviser.

But, today, Gates said he looks forward to working with Donilon.

ROBERT GATES, U.S. secretary of defense: I have and have had a very
productive and very good working relationship with Tom Donilon, contrary to what you may have read.

BARACK OBAMA: My outgoing chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Today’s news follows last week’s resignation by Chief
of Staff Rahm Emanuel to run for mayor of Chicago. Two top economic advisers,
Christina Romer and Lawrence Summers, resigned earlier.

In Northern Afghanistan today, a powerful bomb killed at least 20
people, including a provincial governor. It exploded inside a packed mosque as
worshipers were attending Friday prayers. In addition to the dead, more than 35
others were wounded. And, in the south, NATO reported three of its soldiers
were killed in separate attacks. That makes 19 so far in October.

After a year-long investigation, a Senate committee says the U.S.
military’s reliance on 26,000 private security guards in Afghanistan is aiding
the Taliban. It found that, too often, contractors unwittingly hire Afghans
with ties to the Taliban. The report also said Pentagon oversight has been
lacking.

The death toll from the toxic sludge spill in Hungary rose to seven
today. Cleanup crews found two more bodies as they worked in three villages
that bore the brunt of the deluge. The sludge reached the Danube River
yesterday, but Hungarian officials insisted today the toxins have been greatly
diluted.

JANOS SZEPVOLGYI, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (through translator):
We didn’t say that the red mud is not dangerous. It is dangerous material.
But, in our opinion, the main danger comes from high alkalinity, from the
caustic nature of the material. And the level of metals that are precipitated
into the water is very low. We can say that the danger they pose is very
little.

HARI SREENIVASAN: On the other hand, Greenpeace reported the danger is
not over. It said lab tests taken from sludge samples showed high levels of
arsenic and mercury.

ZSOLT SZEGFALVI, Greenpeace-Hungary: We don’t understand what the
authorities say that it’s not dangerous, it’s safe. What ore details show us,
it’s a dangerous material outside, and the level of such elements are really
high.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The Hungarian government said today the spill totaled
184 million gallons. That’s nearly as large as the Gulf oil spill.

Abbott Laboratories agreed today to take its diet pill Meridia off the
market in the U.S. and Canada. The regulators sought the move after studies
found increased risk of heart attack and stroke in heart patients using the
drug. An estimated 100,000 Americans take Meridia.

Earlier this week, Pfizer confirmed it recalled 190,000 bottles of its
cholesterol drug Lipitor last August. It had several reports of a musty odor in
some bottles.

California finally has a state budget, 100 days after its fiscal year
began. The state assembly approved a spending plan overnight, and the state
Senate followed suit early today. Supporters said it would help close a $19
billion deficit. Opponents said it used rosy forecasts and accounting tricks to
push back the state’s day of reckoning.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.