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AP Financial News Summary at 9:44 p.m. EDT

July 17, 2005

Investors Seek Small-Caps’ Middle Ground

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NEW YORK (AP) _ If you’re considering an investment in small-cap stocks, let tolerance for drama be your guide. If watching your stock lose 20 percent of its value in one day would give you heartburn, small-cap stocks are not for you. If you are unwilling to scour quarterly reports for phrases like ``material weakness,″ they’re not for you. And if you can’t sell when a stock’s price and outlook are sunniest, this isn’t your investment.

Official: Dennis Ruined Fla. Cotton Crop

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JAY, Fla. (AP) _ Hurricane Dennis destroyed up to 50 percent of the cotton crop in parts of the state, making it the second straight year that some farmers will struggle to make a profit after a hurricane, agriculture officials said.

Tide Turning for Corporate Prosecutors

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NEW YORK (AP) _ In the latest wave of U.S. corporate scandals, the days of reckoning are finally here. Legal observers say years of hard, and often delicate, work by prosecutors _ initially accused by some of dragging their feet _ are now beginning to pay off in high-profile sentencings.

Dow Ends Up 12 on Strong Economic Data

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street ended a bullish week with a modest advance Friday as strong economic data encouraged investors and sent the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to a four-year high for the second straight session.

Idaho County Sues Over Immigrant Workers

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Faced with the costs of coping with illegal immigrants, one county is looking to the courts for help _ by filing a racketeering lawsuit against the businesses that hire these workers.

GE Reports Strong 2Q Earnings

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NEW YORK (AP) _ General Electric Co., one of the world’s biggest companies, said Friday that its second-quarter earnings jumped 24 percent as profits surged across all 11 of its business units, prompting the company to tighten its full-year forecast.

Coal to Surpass Oil in Colombia Exports

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URIBIA, Colombia (AP) _ On the northernmost tip of South America, a train chugs across the desert past Indians with painted faces while gun-toting guards squint across the barren landscape, on the lookout for outlaws.

Millions Spent on Birth-Control Patch Ads

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The popularity of the birth-control patch continues to grow, fueled by millions of dollars in advertising.

Motor City Getting Northern Competition

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Ever since the first Model Ts rolled off Henry Ford’s assembly line, Detroit and its surroundings have been the capital of the U.S. auto industry. But now, thanks to cheap health care and changing tastes in cars, its Canadian neighbor is challenging it for the title of North America’s top producer.

Poker Boom Spawns New Magazines

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ATLANTA (AP) _ Bluff magazine routinely reveals a world at the top of the poker craze that few get to see, of millionaire card sharks who spend money with abandon, use $1,000 chips as coasters and fly like rock stars from one glitzy casino to another. But like its name, Bluff’s glamorous gloss is all for show.

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