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AP Financial News Summary at 2:58 p.m. EDT

May 14, 2006

Closing Arguments on Deck in Enron Trial

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HOUSTON (AP) _ The jury in the federal fraud and conspiracy trial of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling is about to stop listening and start talking. But before the panel retires to deliberate, lawyers on both sides of the trial that emerged from one of the biggest corporate scandals in U.S. history have one last shot at persuading jurors to decide the case their way.

More Rate Hikes Could Force Stocks Down

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NEW YORK (AP) _ An inflation scare sent stocks, bonds and the dollar skidding at the end of last week and analysts say more declines are possible as it dawns on investors that further increases in borrowing costs could be in store.

Oil Minister: Don’t Bank on High Growth

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Saudi Arabia’s oil minister warned Arab producers Sunday not to expect continued growth in prices and demand for oil.

Northwest Impasse Heads to Judge

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Northwest Airlines Corp. couldn’t get its baggage handlers to agree to pay cuts, so it’s taking them to court. Northwest wants its bankruptcy judge to let it throw out its union contracts with baggage handlers and other ramp workers. A trial on that request begins on Monday in bankruptcy court in New York.

Consumer Reports Launches Shopping Ma

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Does the world need another shopping magazine? The answer from that long-standing arbiter of product reliability, Consumer Reports _ is a resounding Yes.

Economic Impact of Immigrants Unclear

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The debate over immigration reform resumes on Capitol Hill this week _ so brace for a barrage of conflicting claims over whether the millions of people here illegally drain or fill the government’s wallet.

Rising Oil Prices Vex Indiana Farmers

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NEW PARIS, Ind. (AP) _ Rising oil prices are putting a pinch on farmers who rely upon diesel-powered equipment and fertilizers made from petroleum.

165 Bodies Found After Nigerian Blast

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ILADO, Nigeria (AP) _ Workers have buried at least 165 people killed in a pipeline explosion, and four bodies were still floating Sunday in tidal mangrove swamps a few miles from the blast site in southern Nigeria, officials said.

132-Year-Old Rural General Store for Sale

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CROGHAN, N.Y. (AP) _ This general store finally sold its last corset last year, to a young girl who thought it looked pretty cool. Still on the shelves of E.M. Marilley and Co. are odd pieces of a ``Made in the USA″ past: Flash cubes. Dress shields. Rubber boots from a B.F. Goodrich footwear division that hasn’t been around since the ’70s. Don’t let the vintage fool you: All are stubbornly brand-new. The store’s philosophy is, it stays until it sells.

Vietnam Reaches Agreement to Join WTO

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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ Vietnam has reached an agreement with the United States that paves the way for the communist country to join the World Trade Organization, U.S. and Vietnamese officials said Sunday.

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