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Stocks edge higher...Oil prices rise with Gulf storm building...Online gambling set to launch in NJ

Friday - 10/4/2013, 11:40am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks wavered at the start of trading this morning, but appear to be heading higher now. Despite the gains, the major indexes are on track for another losing week. The budget standoff in Washington has discouraged investors all week.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans in the House are continuing their efforts to fund government agencies and programs on a piecemeal basis with a partial government shutdown in its fourth day. Senate Democrats are rejecting that approach. Still, furloughed federal workers could get some relief with legislation authorizing back pay due for a House vote today or tomorrow. Some top Democrats are voicing support for the idea. Meanwhile, the shutdown has postponed today's scheduled release of the government's September jobs report.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices are rising today with Tropical Storm Karen threatening to become a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil companies are taking precautionary measures, including the evacuation of non-essential personnel from offshore installations in the path of the storm. Benchmark crude is trading near $104 a barrel.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey gaming officials say Internet gambling will begin in the state on Nov. 26, after a five-day trial period to make sure things work properly. The state Gaming Enforcement Division tells The Associated Press that Atlantic City's 12 casinos may invite guests for a so-called soft play period starting Nov. 21. Gamblers would have to be physically located within New Jersey's boundaries in order to play.

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A poll by the national gambling lobby finds that 26 percent of casino-goers do not place bets and, at least in Las Vegas, grand nightclubs are challenging gambling as the city's most lucrative attraction. The trade publication Nightclub & Bar says Las Vegas now boasts 7 of the country's 10 most profitable nightclubs. And the competition among those clubs is encouraging producers to create more extravagant shows.

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