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AP Financial News Summary at 2:07 p.m. EDT

September 22, 2006

Stocks Fall in Early Afternoon Trading

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street’s growing pessimism about the economy sent stocks lower for a second straight day Friday, as investors lost the enthusiasm that followed Wednesday’s Federal Reserve’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged.

Oil Prices Decline to $61 a Barrel

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oil prices fell Friday and many analysts said ample worldwide supplies at a time of year when demand is weak could keep downward pressure on crude futures.

Starbucks to Raise Coffee Drink Prices

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SEATTLE (AP) _ Starbucks Corp. said Thursday that it planned to raise prices of its lattes, cappuccinos, drip coffee and other drinks by 5 cents, or an average of 1.9 percent.

HP CEO Expected to Address Leak Probe

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ With Hewlett-Packard Co.’s stock tumbling, CEO Mark Hurd continued to face questions about what he knew of HP’s efforts to ferret out a boardroom leak.

FCC Chair Said to OK AT&T-BellSouth Deal

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is recommending unconditional approval of AT&T Inc.’s $67 billion purchase of BellSouth Corp., sources familiar with the matter said Friday.

Tribune Board Signals Big Changes Coming

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CHICAGO (AP) _ Tribune Co., under pressure from shareholders to boost its stock price, is signaling it may sell, break up or take private the company that owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, television stations and the Chicago Cubs.

UAW Strategizes to Work With Automakers

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CLEVELAND (AP) _ Shuttered plants. Thousands of good-paying jobs lost. Retiree benefits at risk. Global competition. An uncertain future. Those words describe the situation now confronting 75,000 Ford Motor Co. employees, faced with plant closings and buyouts as the company moves forward with its plan to cut 30,000 jobs and get business back on track.

Fla. Man Forms First Pizza Drivers Union

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) _ Domino’s Pizza delivery driver Jim Pohle could have quit when he saw a competitor offering an extra 25 cents an hour in wages and his bosses wouldn’t match it. But he decided instead to stand up and form the nation’s only pizza drivers union to successfully organize workers.

Idaho Farmers Tout Nonpotato Food Items

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ The spud may be king among Idaho food products, even featured on the state’s license plates, but it can be a galling stereotype for farmers and ranchers who grow other things. Few have ever escaped a trade show without being asked, ``You grow (insert crop) in Idaho? I thought that was the potato state.″

China Merchants Bank IPO Up in Hong Kong

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HONG KONG (AP) _ China Merchants Bank made a strong debut Friday on Hong Kong’s stock market as another Chinese lender _ the country’s biggest commercial bank _ got ready to kick off what could be the world’s largest initial public offering.

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