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AP Financial News Summary at 12:06 p.m. EDT

October 17, 2004

Slow China Growth Sparks Selloff

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Concerns about slowing growth in China sparked a selloff in commodities futures this past week, but some Wall Street watchers remain bullish about companies that produce what’s called ``stuff″ _ goods like oil, metals and timber.

Northwest Pilot Leaders Endorse Pay Cut

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Leaders of the union for Northwest Airlines pilots voted unanimously Saturday to endorse a tentative agreement that will cut pilot compensation by $265 million annually.

US Airways May Slash Pay by 21 Percent

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ A federal bankruptcy judge has granted approval for US Airways to cut the pay of its union workers by 21 percent through February to help the nation’s seventh-largest airline stay in business and emerge from bankruptcy.

Automakers Display Eco-Friendly Cars

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ANTING, China (AP) _ The Habo No. 1 looks like any one of the legions of Volkswagen sedans in China. But a peek under the hood reveals an array of chrome canisters in place of the usual engine.

Wal-Mart Finds Union at Its Back Door

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JONQUIERE, Quebec (AP) _ The signs topping sales racks wear the same yellow smiley face, but promise ``Chute de Prix,″ instead of price rollbacks. The boxes of Tide shelved in housewares come packed with a bonus CD inviting shoppers to experience ``la passion du Hockey.″

J.D. Power Reportedly Exploring Sale

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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (AP) _ J.D. Power & Associates, the research firm best known for its surveys of cars and other consumer products, has hired a firm to explore options that could include selling the privately held company, according to newspaper reports.

Asia’s Low-Cost Carriers Nervous on Fuel

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HONG KONG (AP) _ High oil prices are putting the squeeze on airlines worldwide, and passengers are seeing fuel surcharges tacked onto tickets as executives keep a nervous eye on the bottom line.

German Opel Plant Workers Seek Assurance

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BERLIN (AP) _ Workers at an Opel car plant in Germany demanded assurances that there would be no compulsory layoffs as a condition for ending a stoppage prompted by parent company General Motors’ announcement of sweeping job cuts.

Greenspan Not Worried About Energy Prices

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ This year’s oil price surge will not be a replay of the oil shocks of the 1970s and 1980s that sent the United States into a series of recessions, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Friday.

Retail Sales Up; Industrial Production Lags

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Shoppers rediscovered their urge to splurge in September, catapulting retail sales up by the largest percentage gain in six months. Industrial activity was restrained, meanwhile, partly because of hurricanes.

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