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Morning Market Roundup: Fed Jeep Investigation, GE Earnings Up, U.S. Futures Down

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Here’s what’s important in the business world this morning:

Feds & Jeep: Federal safety regulators are investigating complaints that Jeep Patriot SUV engines can stall without warning at highway speeds.

The probe by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration affects about 112,000 Patriots from the 2011 and 2012 model years.The U.S. safety agency says it received a dozen complaints about stalling. There was one crash and two people were hurt.

Ten of the incidents occurred while the Jeeps were going 65 miles per hour or faster. In eight cases the Patriots could not be restarted.

The safety agency says the trend appears to be growing with all but three of the complaints coming in the past six months.

Investigators will determine whether the problem is bad enough to order a recall.

A spokesman for Jeep brand owner Chrysler says the company is looking into the matter.

GE Earnings: General Electric Co.'s net income rose 49 percent in the third quarter to $3.49 billion as its recovery from the 2008 financial crisis continues.

GE earned 33 cents per share in the quarter, up from 22 cents per share during the same period last year. Revenue rose $1 billion, or 3 percent, to $36.35 billion.

When adjusted to exclude certain pension costs and income from discontinued operations, GE posted earnings of 36 cents per share. That matched the expectations of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Analysts were looking for slightly higher revenue of $36.95 billion. GE shares fell 35 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $22.46 in premarket trading.

U.S. Futures: Stock futures are ending the week on a down note after a pair of major tech companies rattled markets with subpar performances during the most recent quarter.

Dow Jones industrial futures are down 25 points to 13,462. The broader S&P futures have given up 3.5 points to 1,448. Nasdaq futures are down 9.25 points to 2,723.50.

Google surprised investors twice Thursday, releasing earnings hours before they were expected, and putting up awful revenue numbers. After the worst sell-off in shares since September 2008, Google shares were flat in premarket trading Friday.

Microsoft is down 2 percent before the market opens after it said that profit tumbled more than 20 percent.

The National Association of Realtors posts existing home sales figures at 10 a.m. Eastern. Economists expect a slight decline.

Oil: Oil prices inched further above $92 a barrel after a key pipeline transporting crude from Canada to the U.S. Midwest was shut down for repairs.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for November delivery was up 36 cents to $92.46 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 2 cents to finish at $92.10 a barrel on the Nymex on Thursday.

Brent crude, which many U.S. refiners use to make gasoline, was up 40 cents to $112.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

TransCanada Corp. had to temporarily shut down its 2,100-mile (3,380-kilometer) Keystone pipeline after tests showed possible safety issues, a federal agency said Thursday. Grady Semmens, spokesman for the Calgary-based company, said the pipeline was shut down Wednesday evening as a precaution and was expected to restart Saturday.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which oversees pipelines in the U.S., has said no leaks were detected on the line, which moves on average about 500,000 barrels of crude a day from Alberta, Canada, down through several states to facilities in Illinois and Oklahoma.

"For now, the expectation is that the Keystone pipeline ... will only be shut for three days while a team is being sent to investigate a `small anomaly,' said analyst Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix in Switzerland. "However, if a team is being sent to investigate it is because nobody is exactly sure about the anomaly and the weekend will therefore include a risk that we come back on Monday to a worse-than-expected situation."

Developments in Europe concerning the creation of a banking supervisor for the 17 countries using the euro currency, a step seen as vital toward stabilizing scores of troubled banks and helping to resolve the region's debt crisis, had little impact.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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