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AP Financial News Summary at 4:31 p.m. EDT

June 30, 2006

Dow Ends Down 41, Nasdaq Closes Down 2

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks ended a turbulent second quarter with a moderate decline Friday as money managers, doing some last-minute adustments, locked in gains from Thursday’s big rally.

Gas Prices Drag on May Consumer Spending

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Consumer spending slowed sharply in May as rising gasoline prices left Americans with less cash for other items, the government reported Friday.

Oil Prices Up Ahead of Independence Day

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Crude oil futures briefly surpassed $74 a barrel Friday on strong U.S. gasoline demand ahead of the Independence Day holiday.

Kerkorian: Renault, Nissan Want GM Stake

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A top shareholder in General Motors Corp. said Friday that automakers Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. are interested in purchasing a significant stake in GM and including the Detroit automaker in their alliance.

Automakers to Woo Customers With Offers

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DETROIT (AP) _ As he checked out the sticker on a new Chrysler 300, Johnny Speight wasn’t sure what incentives the company was offering or whether he’d even buy a new car for his wife. All he knew was that he would not pay anywhere near the $28,500 asking price.

Bush Nominates Mishkin to Fed Board

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush is pressing a deeper imprint on the Federal Reserve Board, the largely secretive institution that sets America’s monetary policy.

Stock Options May Haunt Silicon Valley

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Silicon Valley’s long-running obsession with stock options is turning into a sordid affair.

Commerce Pact May Be Doomed at WTO Talks

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GENEVA (AP) _ Presidents, prime ministers and chancellors from around the world have called a new trade deal a top priority. Their negotiators don’t seem to be able to pull it off.

Arcelor Shareholders Nix Severstal Deal

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LUXEMBOURG (AP) _ Arcelor SA’s shareholders voted down a merger with Russia’s OAO Severstal on Friday, clearing away a major hurdle to Mittal Steel Co.’s bid to take over the company and form a steel titan with nearly 10 percent of global production.

Crocs Shoes Making Great Strides

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ It was on a winter trip to Denver that Amanda Walker discovered the funky-looking footwear that would boost her body care business.

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