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AP Financial News Summary at 12:10 p.m. EST

November 29, 2006

GDP Report Sends Stocks Up Smartly

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street rose for a second straight session Wednesday after the government’s latest gross domestic product reading showed the economy was in better shape than expected, easing concerns that growth was moderating too sharply.

Ford: 38,000 Workers Have Taken Buyouts

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DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday that about 38,000 of its hourly production workers have accepted buyouts or early retirement offers so far this year.

Economy Expands by 2.2 Percent in 3Q

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Business growth slowed to a 2.2 percent pace in the late summer, a much better performance than anticipated and an encouraging sign that the housing slump hasn’t been too much of a drag on the economy.

Houghton-Mifflin Accepts $1.8B Buyout

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BOSTON (AP) _ Houghton-Mifflin Co., one of the nation’s largest textbook publishers and home to early American authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, has agreed to a nearly $1.8 billion buyout offer from a group led by educational publishing executive Barry O’Callaghan.

Report: Nestle Considers $5B Gerber Buy

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VEVEY, Switzerland (AP) _ Nestle SA, the world’s largest foodmaker, may buy baby-food company Gerber Products from Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG for as much as $5 billion, according to a published report.

Tiffany 3rd-Quarter Profit Rises

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Fine jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. said Wednesday third-quarter earnings grew 23 percent as U.S. customers increased spending. The luxury goods retailer also raised fiscal 2006 guidance, sending shares higher in pre-market trading.

New-Home Sales Drop in Oct., Prices Rise

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sales of new homes fell in October by the largest amount in three months, a fresh sign of the cooling taking place in the once-sizzling housing sector.

Oil Up on Wintry Forecast, OPEC Concerns

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LONDON (AP) _ Oil prices rose Wednesday as the market considered forecasts for colder weather in the United States and a possible decision at next month’s OPEC meeting to cut production.

Report: Greenberg Buying NY Times Stock

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Shares in the New York Times Co. rose strongly on Wednesday after a published report indicated that Maurice ``Hank″ Greenberg, the deposed chairman of American International Group Inc., was buying stock in the newspaper publisher.

Pfizer to Slash U.S. Sales Force 20 Pct.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it will cut its U.S. sales force by 20 percent, or 2,200 people, as part of a cost-cutting program to transform the company into a more nimble organization as it struggles with sluggish sales.

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