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AP Financial News Summary at 12:53 a.m. EST

March 9, 2006

Google Agrees to Settle ‘Click Fraud’ Case

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google Inc. has agreed to pay up to $90 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the online search engine leader overcharged thousands of advertisers who paid for bogus sales referrals generated through a ruse known as ``click fraud.″

Fastow: Lay Knew of Wobbly Enron Finances

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Enron Corp. chief executive Kenneth Lay was aware of the company’s withering finances in late 2001 even as he gave glowing reports to employees and the media, the admitted architect of schemes that helped sink the company testified Wednesday.

Report: Bank of Japan Ends Monetary Policy

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TOKYO (AP) _ The Bank of Japan abandoned on Thursday its super-easy monetary policy that the central bank has kept for five years by keeping interest rates at zero and pumping extra cash into the financial system, NHK TV reported.

Dow Closes Up 25, Nasdaq Finishes Down 1

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks closed barely mixed on Wall Street Wednesday as oil prices dropped sharply and interest rate worries limited the market’s gains.

NYSE Group Stock Surges in Trading Debut

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Investors welcomed the NYSE Group Inc. to Wall Street Wednesday, sending shares of the newly public New York Stock Exchange up 25 percent in its first trading session on the Big Board.

Oil Prices Slide on OPEC Output Decision

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Oil prices fell to about $60 a barrel Wednesday after OPEC’s president said the group will keep output intact and the U.S. Department of Energy reported a sharp rise in crude stocks last week.

Cigarette Sales Hit 55-Year Low in 2005

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Cigarette sales hit a 55-year low in 2005 and have fallen by more than 21 percent since state attorneys general negotiated a landmark settlement with the industry eight years ago, newly released figures show.

TiVo Announces New Pricing Structure

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ As it struggled to gain new subscribers, TiVo Inc., the maker of the popular set-top digital video recorder, on Wednesday reported narrower fourth-quarter losses in line with Wall Street expectations.

Judge Urged to Hold Comair to Contract

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CINCINNATI (AP) _ The union representing Comair flight attendants asked a bankruptcy judge late Wednesday to deny the airline’s request to void its contract with about 1,000 flight attendants.

Exxon to Lift Output by 25 Percent by 2010

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Exxon Mobil Corp. said Wednesday it will plow an extra $2 billion a year into oil and natural-gas drilling, refining and chemicals manufacturing in order to lift output by 25 percent by the end of the decade.

Dynegy Posts 4Q Profit, Cuts 2006 Targets

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DALLAS (AP) _ Electricity producer Dynegy Inc. said Wednesday it posted a fourth-quarter profit, reversing a year-ago loss, as revenue surged and gains from discontinued operations lifted results.

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