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AP Financial News Summary at 2:35 p.m. EST

January 25, 2006

Boston Scientific Wins Battle for Guidant

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Guidant Corp. jilted longtime suitor Johnson & Johnson Wednesday in favor of a $27.2 billion offer from rival Boston Scientific Corp., ending one of the most highly charged bidding wars in years.

Reebok Holders OK $3.8B Adidas Buyout

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CANTON, Mass. (AP) _ Shareholders of Reebok International Ltd. voted Wednesday to approve the $3.8 billion sale of the sports sneaker and apparel maker to Adidas-Salomon AG, a deal that seeks to challenge Nike Inc.’s market leadership.

Stocks Head Lower on Falling Oil Prices

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks edged lower Wednesday as declining oil prices sent the energy sector lower and investors’ continued their jittery reactions to corporate earnings.

Existing Home Sales Fall for 3rd Month

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sales of existing homes set a record for a fifth straight year in 2005 even though the year ended on a weaker note with three straight monthly declines, sending a strong signal that the nation’s housing boom is beginning to cool.

Testimony to Begin in Fourth Vioxx Trial

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RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (AP) _ Lawyers for the family of a 71-year-old man opened their case Wednesday by arguing that his fatal 2001 heart attack was a sudden reaction to Merck & Co.’s painkiller Vioxx and not the end result of 23 years of heart disease as Merck lawyers contend.

Ameritrade Closes TD Waterhouse Deal

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Online brokerage Ameritrade Holding Corp. said Wednesday it completed its acquisition of TD Waterhouse Group Inc.’s U.S. retail securities business, and promptly announced plans to close two of its five call centers and 40 of the 140 branch offices it picked up as part of the deal.

American Airlines Expects Higher Revenue

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ American Airlines, the nation’s largest carrier, expects rising revenue in 2006 but faces higher costs, especially for fuel, its chief financial officer said Wednesday.

Bristol-Myers Profit Leaps As Sales Fall

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled from a year ago despite falling sales because the drug maker’s year-ago net income was depressed by a one-time charge.

Japan Investors Take Hit From Livedoor

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TOKYO (AP) _ Yoshikazu Tsugiyama is devastated that the value of his Livedoor shares have nose-dived _ one of the thousands of Japanese investors who had put their money on the Internet company’s charismatic founder only to be stunned by his arrest.

BellSouth 4Q Profit Sags on Storm Costs

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ATLANTA (AP) _ BellSouth Corp., the dominant local telephone provider in nine southeastern states, said Wednesday that heavy hurricane-related costs contributed to a more than 54 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit that occurred despite a slight increase in revenue and solid gains in DSL customers.

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