AP Top Business News At 7:31 a.m. EDT

Gas almost under $3 nationwide: What to know
NEW YORK (AP) -- The sight is so surprising that Americans are sharing photos of it, along with all those cute Halloween costumes, sweeping vistas and special meals: The gas station sign, with a price under $3 a gallon....

Japan stocks soar 5 percent, yen falls on stimulus
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Japan's stock benchmark surged 5 percent to the highest level since late 2007 and the yen slid against the dollar Friday after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economy. Expectations Japan's $1.1 trillion public pension fund would boost its equity holdings gave a further boost to the market....

Japan expands stimulus to spur recovery
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank expanded its asset purchases in a surprise move Friday to shore up sagging growth in the world's No. 3 economy....

Q&A: Why Japan's economy needs more juice
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan is pumping more money into its lagging economy, expanding an already lavish stimulus effort. The surprise announcement Friday highlights diverging fortunes among the world's top economies. Earlier this week, the U.S. Federal Reserve ended its own unprecedented stimulus in a sign of increased confidence in economic recovery....

Russia: Natural gas will flow after Ukraine pays
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia will resume shipping natural gas to Ukraine after Kiev pays off its first debt installment for past supplies of gas next week, officials said Friday....

Not so sweet: Chocolate prices are set to rise
NEW YORK (AP) -- That bowl of chocolates for ninjas and ghosts won't cost you more this Halloween. Picking the perfect sweet for your Valentine could....

Japan's huge pension fund to boost share purchases
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's $1.1 trillion public pension fund on Friday approved a plan to double its holdings of shares and cut back sharply on bonds to help improve investment returns and meet its obligations to a swelling number of retirees....

APNewsBreak: Medicare bought meds for dead people
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Call it drugs for the departed: Medicare's prescription program kept paying for costly medications even after patients were dead....

Eurozone inflation creeps up to 0.4 percent
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- Inflation crept higher in the 18 countries that use the euro in October - but the rise to an annual 0.4 percent offered little relief to the European Central Bank as it tries to boost a weak economy....

RBS sets aside $639 million for currency probe
LONDON (AP) -- Royal Bank of Scotland, which is majority-owned by the U.K. government, has set aside 400 million pounds ($639 million) to cover potential fines arising from international investigations into alleged manipulation of foreign currency trading....

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Gas almost under $3 nationwide: What to know

Gas ready to drop below $3 for 1st time in 4 years

Q&A: Why Japan's economy needs more juice

Wal-Mart ups ante on holiday shopping

Rivals gear up for next round of Tenn. whiskey war

Kum & Go chain settles disabilities lawsuit

Citi cuts earnings due to regulatory probes

Starbucks plans delivery after sales fall short

Strengthening US growth reflects help from Fed


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