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Wednesday business briefs

43,000 new hires

U.S. companies boosted payrolls by more than forecast in October, data from a private report showed yesterday. Employment increased by 43,000 after a revised 2,000 drop in September, according to figures from ADP Employer Services.

$4B loss for Freddie

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac Wednesday posted a narrower loss of $4.1 billon in the third quarter as it asked for $100 million more in federal aid - after a $1.8-billion request in the second quarter. Freddie Mac's loss attributable to common stockholders for the quarter works out to $1.25 a share, compared with a loss of $2.06 a share in the year-ago quarter.

Black leaving Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. vice chairman Steve Black is planning to step down in early 2011. Black, 58, considered one of Wall Street's most powerful bankers, co-ran JPMorgan's investment banking unit. He was replaced by Jes Staley, 54.

Ally: 'We screwed up'

Ally Financial Inc., the auto and home lender, said the company was "embarrassed" it used "robo-signers" to fill out foreclosure documents. "We screwed up," chief executive Michael Carpenter said Wednesday in an earnings conference call, adding Ally is "confident that we did not foreclose on anybody inappropriately." Its September suspension of evictions by its GMAC unit touched off a nationwide examination of mortgage firms and a probe by all 50 state attorneys general.

Rewards on Facebook

If you use Facebook to "check in" to restaurants or shops, you can now expect to see rewards and discounts from companies looking to lure in loyal customers. Facebook is looking to bridge online advertising with people's offline behavior as it announced Wednesday a service called Deals. It's an extension of Places, the check-in feature the company unveiled this year.Wire service reports

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