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AP Financial News Summary at 4:01 p.m. EDT

August 8, 2005

Oil Prices Hit New High, Near $64 a Barrel

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oil prices jumped to a new high near $64 a barrel on Monday, reflecting the market’s persistent uneasiness about strong demand, tight supplies and a slew of threats to output around the globe.

Economists Expect Fed to Raise Rates Again

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oil prices are surging and wages are growing at the fastest clip in a year, reasons enough for the Federal Reserve to keep pushing interest rates higher the rest of the year and probably well into 2006 in an effort to keep inflation in check.

Stocks Fall on Record High Oil Prices

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks headed lower Monday as the price of oil hit record highs after the U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia said it would be closed for two days due to security threats.

Bush Signs Energy Bill Into Law

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ President Bush on Monday signed a sweeping energy bill that will send billions of dollars in tax subsidies to energy companies, yet do little immediately to ease gas prices or lower reliance on foreign oil.

Whirlpool Boosts Offer to Buy Maytag

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) _ For a second time, Whirlpool Corp. has sweetened the pot in a bid to purchase rival Maytag Corp., submitting a $20-per-share binding offer worth $1.62 billion plus assumed debt.

Delphi, Visteon Blame Losses on Labor Costs

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DETROIT (AP) _ The nation’s biggest auto-parts suppliers reported second-quarter losses Monday, citing high labor costs and production cuts by ailing domestic automakers. Delphi Corp. said it’s considering bankruptcy, but Visteon Corp.’s outlook is brighter as it approaches a major restructuring next month.

Nokia Shares Up on Takeover Plan Report

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HELSINKI, Finland (AP) _ Nokia Corp. shares rose Monday after a report that Cisco Systems Inc. was interested in an acquisition in the wireless market and that the Finnish mobile phone maker might be a target.

Scandals Shake German Corporate Culture

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FRANKFURT, Germany _ In a nation where a handshake can launch a deal and business is considered a noble calling, a series of scandals at some of Germany’s largest companies has brought embarrassment to a corporate culture proud of its honor system.

E-Trade to Buy HarrisDirect in $700M Deal

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Online brokerage E-Trade Financial Corp. said Monday that it agreed to acquire rival HarrisDirect in a $700 million deal as the online brokerage industry consolidates amid fierce price competition and declining customer activity.

Dynegy’s 2Q Profit Surges on Tax Benefit

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Electricity and natural-gas provider Dynegy Inc. said Monday its second-quarter profit rose because of a tax benefit resulting from the anticipated sale of its Midstream natural-gas business.

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