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AP Financial News Summary at 1:16 p.m. EDT

August 15, 2006

Home Sales Slow, 28 States See Declines

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The slowdown in the once-sizzling housing market is spreading, with 28 states and the District of Columbia reporting spring sales declines, led by big drops in former boom areas of Arizona, Florida and California.

Wal-Mart Sees 1st Profit Drop in 10 Yrs.

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted its first profit decline in a decade Tuesday as the world’s largest retailer was forced to pay a hefty price for withdrawing from Germany, selling its stores there at a loss to a rival.

Airlines Decide Who Should Pay for Alert

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LONDON (AP) _ As the immediate security threat at British airports wanes, airlines are beginning to count the multimillion dollar cost of the terrorist alert _ and consider who should pay.

Inflation Inches Up on Wholesale Level

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Inflation at the wholesale level edged up by the smallest amount in five months in July as falling food prices helped offset another rise in energy costs.

Dell Recalls Fire-Risk Laptop Batteries

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DALLAS (AP) _ In the largest electronics-related recall involving the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Dell Inc. agreed to replace 4.1 million notebook computer batteries made by Sony Corp. because they can burst into flames.

Saks Posts 2Q Loss on Lower Revenue

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Luxury retailer Saks Inc. posted a second-quarter loss Tuesday, reversing a year-earlier profit, due in large part to sharply lower revenue following the sale of its Northern Department Store Group.

Dow Gains 100 on Benign Inflation Report

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Relieved investors sent stocks soaring Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrials climbing more than 105 points, after the Labor Department reported an unexpected drop in core wholesale prices that reaffirmed the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates and inflation.

Motorcycle Cos. Rev Up Safety Programs

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MILWAUKEE (AP) _ As Sean Mizlo lay in a hospital bed last summer, he wondered if he’d ever ride a motorcycle again. He knew he could, even though doctors had just removed his left leg above the knee. But would he want to?

Oil Drops in Response to Cease-Fire

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Oil prices fell Tuesday as the cease-fire in Lebanon appeared to hold up and eased concerns of a supply disruption, and as production partially restarted at BP’s Alaska field.

Home Depot Profit Up, but Guidance Low

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ATLANTA (AP) _ The Home Depot Inc., the nation’s largest home improvement store chain, reported Tuesday a 5.3 percent jump in second-quarter earnings on a strong rise in sales. However, it said its earnings growth for the year will be at the low end of its previous guidance.

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