Jobs news helping stocks...JP Morgan, Justice hold talks...Farm labor shortage

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Associated Press

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 26 at 2:02 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Positive signs about the job market have been lifting stocks today. The government reports unemployment claims fell to the lowest level in six years last week, while a survey of service companies finds them hiring at a faster pace. The major indexes have been in positive territory all day, raising the prospect that the Dow and the S&P 500 could break their losing streaks.

LARGO, Maryland (AP) — President Barack Obama says Republican opponents of his health care law are resorting to "crazy" doomsday predictions about its impact. Speaking five days before Americans can begin signing up for coverage, the president says the GOP's biggest fear is not that the Affordable Care Act will fail, but that it will succeed. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner says he has "no interest in a government shutdown," but Republicans will not pass a temporary spending bill that's doesn't eliminate funds for implementing the law.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder met with J.P. Morgan's chief executive at the Justice Department in Washington this morning, but neither is saying much about it. A government official familiar with the ongoing negotiations says an $11 billion settlement is under review that would resolve claims against JPMorgan related to the company's handling of mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

NEW YORK (AP) — Bernard Madoff's historic fraud case continues to lead to arrests. A senior partner at a Manhattan accounting firm is in custody this afternoon on charges he participated in and helped direct false bookkeeping as part of Madoff's scheme. Paul Konigsberg was a senior tax partner at the accounting firm Konigsberg Wolf & Co. An indictment says he was the only person outside the Madoff family to hold an ownership interest in Madoff's private investment business.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — It's harvest time on the West Coast, but farmers say they can't find enough people to pick their crops. In some cases, workers have walked off fields in the middle of harvest, lured by offers of better pay or easier work elsewhere. The shortage is boosting labor expenses, delaying harvests and leaving more fruits and vegetables in the field. And growers say that's hurting income. But farmworkers have seen their pay jump several dollars over the minimum wage.

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