Dow Closes Up 78, Nasdaq Finishes Up 18

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street kicked off the third quarter with a sharp advance Monday as mild manufacturing and construction data lifted hopes about interest rates and energized investors in light pre-holiday trade.

Manufacturing Sector Growth Weak in June

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The nation's manufacturing sector expanded at a slower rate than expected in June and construction spending plunged in May, reinforcing the belief of some analysts that increasing sluggishness in the economy will prompt the Federal Reserve to pause at last in its credit-tightening regime.

Ford Vehicle Sales Fall 6.8 Pct. in June

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DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co. sold nearly 7 percent fewer vehicles last month than in June 2005, as higher gas prices held truck buyers at bay, the company reported Monday.

Renault Board OKs Opening Talks With GM

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PARIS (AP) _ The board of Renault SA on Monday approved opening talks with General Motors Corp. over a possible new alliance with the French automaker and Nissan Motor Co. if the U.S. company wants the discussions, Renault said.

Cullen/Frost to Buy Summit Bancshares

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DALLAS (AP) _ Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. said Monday it will buy another Texas bank, Summit Bancshares Inc., for $363.5 million in cash and stock.

Oil Prices Climb Above $73 a Barrel

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VIENNA, Austria (AP) _ Oil prices rose Monday on anticipation that large numbers of Americans will take to the road for Independence Day.

BP Oil, Gas Output Tumbles Yet Again

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LONDON (AP) _ Energy company BP PLC said Monday that oil and gas output fell for the fourth straight quarter and that its refinery explosion in Texas will cost it $500 million more than it had anticipated.

Honda to Double Car Production in India

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NEW DELHI (AP) _ Japanese auto giant Honda Motor Co. plans to double its production capacity in India by next year, set up a fully owned subsidiary and invest about $650 million over the next 10 years to expand its business here, the company's chief executive said.

Mexico Stock Markets Rally After Election

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MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Mexican financial markets opened sharply higher Monday as investors apparently decided that fiscally conservative Felipe Calderon will be Mexico's next president.

Official: Failed WTO Talks Bad for Poor

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GENEVA (AP) _ Failure by top trading powers to resolve their differences in global commerce negotiations augurs badly for the world's poor, a top U.N. official said Monday, urging countries to do their utmost to save the troubled Doha round of trade talks.