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AP Financial News Summary at 1:58 p.m. EST

January 18, 2006

Stocks Fall on Tech Earnings, Oil Prices

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Disappointing tech sector earnings set off a second day of selling on Wall Street Wednesday as investors also worried about a massive tumble in Japan’s market and rising oil prices.

United, Flight Attendants Agree on Plan

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CHICAGO (AP) _ United Airlines settled some key remaining issues as a confirmation hearing on its reorganization plan began Wednesday, announcing that flight attendants had agreed to a replacement pension plan and are dropping their lawsuits against the company.

Consumer Price Index Rises 3.4 Percent

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Consumer prices rose by the largest rate in five years in 2005, reflecting a surge in energy costs, although other prices remained well behaved.

Hedge Fund Manager Revamps McDonald’s Plan

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NEW YORK (AP) _ An activist hedge fund manager issued a revamped restructuring proposal Wednesday for McDonald’s Corp. that would partially spin off company-owned restaurants into a separate company, which would focus on emerging international markets.

AMR Corp.’s 4Q Losses Widen on Competition

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ American Airlines parent AMR Corp. on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter loss widened as the nation’s biggest airline company wrestled with high fuel costs and competition with low-cost rivals.

Burlington Coat Agrees to Buyout Offer

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ After 34 years as a family-run business, Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. has agreed to a $2.06 billion cash buyout offer from private equity firm Bain Capital Partners LLC.

Southwest Airlines 4Q Profit Up on Revenue

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DALLAS (AP) _ Low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit rose 54 percent despite an unexpected security expense, driven by higher revenue and its cost control efforts. Its shares rose nearly 5 percent.

Citigroup to Launch Own Trading Network

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Citigroup Inc., one of the world’s largest financial services companies, on Wednesday said it plans to launch its own electronic stock-trading network, a service that could draw some traffic away from the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market.

Oil Prices Fall As Traders Take Profits

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Crude-oil prices fell Wednesday, as traders took profits from a recent surge in prices over supply worries spurred by possible sanctions against Iran, OPEC’s second-largest producer, and political unrest in Nigeria.

Schwab’s Earnings Triple on Slashed Fees

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Charles Schwab Corp.’s fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled as the discount brokerage slashed fees, capping the most profitable year in its 30-year history.

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