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Safer source for medical isotopes hailed

Washington -- Molybdenum-99, essential for medical imaging, is being made for the first time from low-enriched uranium rather than weapons-grade material, U.S. officials say.

The United States has received its first shipment of molybdenum-99 produced in this manner in South Africa, promising a more reliable supply while allaying fears of nuclear proliferation, a release by the National Nuclear Security Administration said Monday.

Molybdenum-99 is used to make the radioactive tracer technitium-99m, used in thousands of noninvasive diagnostic scans every day, the release said.

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Mortgage rates mixed, still low

Washington -- Average interest rates for long-term mortgages rose slightly or held still in the past week, the U.S. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said Thursday.

Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said mixed signals in a national employment report -- showing unemployment up to 9.6 percent, but private payrolls higher -- had "a mixed effect on mortgage rates this week."

For the week ending Sept. 9, "The 30-year fixed rate nudged up, but the 15-year fixed rate (was) unchanged," he said.

In the latest weekly survey, released Thursday, Freddie Mac said interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate contracts rose from 4.32 percent with an average of 0.7 points, to 4.35 percent.

FDA issues new, stricter rules for cigarette advertisements

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now implementing new and stricter restrictions on cigarette advertisements that will prevent kids from picking them and save numerous lives.

U.S. markets slide Monday

New York -- U.S. markets followed a global trend lower Monday with the Dow Jones industrial average closing at a seven-month low.

The DJIA wavered up and down through the day but fell into the red to stay around 1:45 p.m. on Wall Street.

The Federal Reserve said consumer credit in April increased at an annual rate of 0.5 percent, while revolving credit decreased 12 percent on an annual basis and non-revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7 percent.

By close, the DJIA lost 115.48 points, 1.16 percent, to 9,816.49. The S&P 500 lost 1.35 percent, 14.41 points, to 1,050.47. The Nasdaq lost 2.04 percent, 45.27 points, to 2,173.90.
The 10-year treasury note rose 20/32 to yield 3.137 percent.

Grain futures lower on weekly crop report

Chicago -- Grain futures closed lower on the Chicago Board of Trade Monday as the U.S. weekly crop report showed steady, across-the-board progress in major grains.

Corn was off 3 3/4 to off 4 1/2, soybeans were unchanged to off 1 1/2, wheat was off 3 to off 3 1/2 and oats were unchanged.

Corn prices dropped with a report that said planting was virtually done for the year and emergence stood at 94 percent, ahead of the five-year average. Winter wheat was listed as 84 percent headed out with the harvest underway. Soybeans planting and emergence were in step with the historic averages at 84 percent and 66 percent, respectively.

The prices:

Corn: Jly 3.35 3/4, off 4 1/4; Sep 3.45, off 4 1/4; Dec 3.55, off 4 1/2; Mar 3.68 3/4, off 3 3/4.