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AP Financial News Summary at 9:26 a.m. EDT

April 27, 2006

Oil Prices Drive Up Exxon Mobil 1Q Profit

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DALLAS (AP) _ Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest oil company, said Thursday that higher oil prices drove first-quarter profit up 7 percent from the prior year.

Jackpot: Harrah’s 1Q Income Jumps 75 Pct.

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LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., the world’s largest casino operator, on Thursday said its acquisition of rival Caesars helped lift first-quarter net income 75 percent, topping Wall Street views.

China’s Central Bank Raises Lending Rate

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BEIJING (AP) _ China’s central bank said Thursday it will raise a key lending rate by just over a quarter percentage point to 5.85 percent in a move to cool economic growth.

Jobless Claims Rise by Most in 6 Weeks

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level since early March, the government reported Thursday.

Ford Launching Concept Car Reality Show

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ If singing, cooking and clothing design can sell as reality TV, why not designing dream cars?

Stock Futures Down Ahead of Fed Testimony

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LONDON (AP) _ U.S. stock futures fell Thursday as China’s central bank lifted interest rates and on caution ahead of testimony from the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

McClatchy Sells 4 Papers to MediaNews

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Six weeks after announcing a deal to buy the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, McClatchy Co. has agreed to sell four Knight Ridder Inc. newspapers to MediaNews Group Inc. for $1 billion.

Oil Prices Fall Below $72 a Barrel

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VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Oil prices fell Thursday after U.S. government data showed motor fuel demand weakening, apparently in response to higher pump prices.

XM’s Loss Widens; Feds Probe Its Marketing

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NEW YORK (AP) _ XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. reported a wider first-quarter loss Thursday and disclosed that federal regulators were probing its marketing practices. Its shares fell 8 percent in premarket trading.

Dow Chemical 1Q Profit Drops 10 Percent

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MIDLAND, Mich. (AP) _ Dow Chemical Co. said Thursday its first-quarter earnings declined 10 percent as the rising cost of raw materials offset a modest gain in sales.

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