U.S. Economy Slows Drastically in Spring

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 3 percent in the spring, a dramatic slowdown from the rapid pace of the past year, as consumer spending fell to the weakest rate since the slowdown of 2001, the government reported Friday.

White House Projects Record $445B Deficit

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The White House projected Friday that this year's deficit will hit a record $445 billion, further fueling a campaign-season dispute over President Bush's handling of the economy.

ChevronTexaco's Profit More Than Doubles

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SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) _ ChevronTexaco Corp.'s second-quarter profit more than doubled as high energy prices extended a recent roll that is shaping into the most prosperous stretch in the oil giant's 125-year history.

Schering-Plough to Pay $346M in Settlement

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Schering-Plough Corp. will pay $346 million in fines and damages to settle charges that it paid a kickback to a big health insurer to protect the price of its top selling allergy drug, the company and federal prosecutors announced Friday.

Bristol-Myers to Pay $300M in Settlement

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Friday it will pay $300 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of lying about accounting and its investment in ImClone Systems Inc.

Former Enron Executive Rice Pleads Guilty

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Kenneth Rice, the former head of Enron Corp.'s high-speed Internet unit, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of securities fraud and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors pursuing other cases related to the company's collapse.

Stocks Up Despite Slow GDP Growth

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Another late rally gave Wall Street a modest advance Friday despite a spike in oil prices and a lower-than-expected hike in the gross domestic product that raised new questions about the economy. The major indexes ended the week higher for the first time in over a month, but ended July with steep losses.

UFJ Rejects Sumitomo Merger Talk Offer

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TOKYO (AP) _ Attempting to cut short a potential bidding war among Japan's banking titans, UFJ Holdings Inc. rejected on Friday a rival offer by Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group to enter into merger talks.

Russia Expects Yukos to Pay Bill in Month

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MOSCOW (AP) _ Russia expects the country's largest oil company, Yukos, to pay its crushing back taxes bill within a month, a Justice Ministry official said Friday in an apparent indication that Yukos' feared collapse isn't imminent.

AEP's 2Q Earnings Are Down 43 Percent

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ American Electric Power said Thursday its second-quarter earnings fell 43 percent because of higher costs and expenses related to storm damage.