TODAY'S TOP STORIES

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Oil-121814_18Dec14.jpg U.S. crude oil plunged to end over 4 percent lower on Thursday, on renewed worries over the oversupply situation amid demand growth concerns, even as U.S. stockpiles declined albeit less than expected last week. Earlier today, crude prices moved higher, lifted by short-covering and an upbeat jobs...

whitehouse-121814.jpg Calling the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment a national security matter, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday the administration is currently weighing options for responding to the cyber-attack.

gold-112014_18Dec14.jpg Gold futures pared much of the gains but still ended higher on Thursday, tracking rising global equity markets, even as the dollar trended higher after some upbeat jobs data from the U.S. showed initial claims for unemployment benefits to have declined more than expected. Gold prices found some support...

rubio-121814.jpg Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been one of the harshest critics of President Barack Obama's plan to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba and continued to bash the president in an op-ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

AerLingus-IAG-121814.jpg Irish airline Aer Lingus said it has rejected a takeover offer from British Airways parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, as the offer undervalues the company.

generalmotors-121814.jpg General Motors said it has halted the delivery of cars to dealerships in Russia as it strives to overcome the business risks stemming from the collapse of the ruble.

amazon-121814.jpg Online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) on Thursday launched a new superfast service in select areas of Manhattan to deliver tens of thousands of daily essentials such as paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries within an hour. The service, dubbed Prime Now, is available for Amazon's Prime...

Wallstreet-013013_18Dec14.jpg Extending the rally seen in the previous session, stocks are posting strong gains in mid-day trading on Thursday. The upward move seen over the past two days has partly offset the sell-off that was seen in the preceding sessions.

LeadingIndicator-121814.jpg Signaling continued moderate growth through the winter, the Conference Board released a report on Thursday showing that its index of leading U.S. economic indicators increased in line with estimates in the month of November.

PhiladelphiaFed-121814.jpg While the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a report on Thursday showing a continued increase in regional manufacturing activity in the month of December, the pace of growth in the sector slowed substantially.

wallstreet-112014_18Dec14.jpg Stocks have moved sharply higher in early trading on Thursday, adding to the substantial gains posted in the previous session. The major averages have climbed firmly into positive territory, bouncing further off the one-month lows set on Tuesday.

Actuant-121814.jpg Industrial products manufacturer Actuant Corp. on Thursday reported a 32 percent decline in profit for the first quarter from last year, reflecting lower sales in its engineered solutions segment and a litigation charge. Both adjusted earnings and quarterly sales missed analysts' expectations. Looking ahead, the company lowered its fiscal 2015 outlook.

Conagrafoods-121814.jpg Packaged foods company ConAgra Foods, Inc. reported Thursday a profit for the second quarter that plummeted from last year, reflecting hefty impairment charges on its Private Brands business. Higher costs and sluggish sales also weighed on the bottom line. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter matched analysts' expectations, while revenues fell short of estimates.

JoblessClaims-121814.jpg Initial jobless claims in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a modest decrease in the week ended December 13th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday. The Labor Department said jobless claims slipped to 289,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level of 295,000.

Daimler-EC-121814.jpg German auto giant Daimler AG said Thursday that it has increased the provision for EU antitrust proceedings by 600 million euros, or $738 million, which will impact its reported earnings for the fourth quarter. However, the company added that its fiscal 2014 earnings outlook for ongoing business remains unchanged.