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AP Financial News Summary at 5:16 p.m. EDT

August 25, 2006

Dow Closes Down 20, Nasdaq Finishes Up 3

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street ended a lackluster session mostly lower Friday after a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke failed to give investors any hints about interest rate policy despite their concerns that the economy might be slowing too fast. The major indexes finished the week with losses.

Bernanke Warns Against Protectionism

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) _ Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned lawmakers to avoid the temptation to impose protectionist trade policies as the United States grapples with fierce competition from globalization.

Oil, Gas Prices Rise on Storm Fears

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A relatively weak storm hundreds of miles south of Puerto Rico captured the attention of energy traders Friday, sending oil and natural-gas prices higher on fears that it could strengthen and threaten Gulf of Mexico production by next week.

Judge Blocks Northwest Employees’ Strike

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge blocked Northwest Airlines flight attendants from going on strike Friday, handing a victory to the airline just hours before a planned walkout that could have devastated the cash-strapped company.

Rubin Quits Ford Board Over Conflict

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DETROIT (AP) _ Robert Rubin’s resignation from the Ford Motor Co. board could mean that Citigroup Inc., where he also serves on the board, plans to talk to Ford about a loan or about advising the struggling automaker on the possible sale of its credit arm, some industry analysts say.

Housing, Energy Prices Strain Shoppers

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Fresh evidence shows that high energy prices and sagging home values are pinching the main driver of the U.S. economy _ the Average Joe’s wallet.

Carson Pirie Scott to Close Its Doors

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CHICAGO (AP) _ State Street may still be a great street, as the song says. But Friday’s news that the Carson Pirie Scott department store was leaving the landmark building it’s called home for more than a century was just the latest reminder that it is no longer the same street.

Judge Holds Closed-Door Nacchio Hearing

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DENVER (AP) _ A federal judge closed part of a hearing in the insider trading case against former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio Friday, saying information from the government’s business dealings with the phone company should remain top secret to protect national security.

Exec Calls Charges Against Newmont Silly

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MANADO, Indonesia (AP) _ An American who heads the Indonesian branch of the world’s largest gold producer on Friday blasted pollution charges against the company as ``silly,″ and said he was looking forward to taking the stand to clear his name.

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