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AP Financial News Summary at 9:45 a.m. EDT

September 24, 2004

Demand for Durable Goods Drops in August

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WASHINGTON (AP) _Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods dropped in August, largely weighed down by a sharp decline in demand for commercial airplanes.

Market Looks Toward Durable Goods Report

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks are not expected to move much at the open Friday, with no big earnings news on the schedule, though a report on U.S. durable goods could set the tone.

Halliburton Co. to Restructure Unit

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Halliburton Co. is restructuring its troubled engineering and construction subsidiary, and company officials say they would consider selling or spinning it off.

Regulators May Oust Fannie Mae Management

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Federal regulators, who are ordering Fannie Mae to take prompt action to remedy what they say are serious accounting problems, also have raised the possibility of removing top managers of the giant mortgage finance company.

Sony-Led Group to Buy MGM in $5B Deal

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A consortium led by Sony Corp. that includes cable television giant Comcast Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire venerable film studio Metro-Goldyn-Mayer, the parties said Thursday.

United Says Ending Pensions ‘Best’ Option

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CHICAGO (AP) _ United Airlines considers terminating its employee pension plans the ``best of a bad set of options″ to help it emerge from bankruptcy, parent company UAL Corp. said in a court filing late Thursday.

Witness: Merrill Execs Discussed Buyback

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Several Merrill Lynch & Co. executives knew Enron Corp. pushed hard for the brokerage to buy interest in three barges by the end of 1999 so the energy company could book the profit, a former credit analyst for Merrill Lynch said Thursday.

Bof a to Move Some Business to Boston

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BOSTON (AP) _ Bank of America Corp., which endured sharp cries of broken promises from state officials after it cut jobs at former Fleet branches, announced Thursday that it would move its wealth and investment management business to Boston.

Continental Matches American Fare Hike

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Continental Airlines and has matched a fare increase initiated by rival American Airlines, but it was uncertain whether the hike would remain in place if not all carriers followed suit.

SEC Investigating Morningstar Over Data

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Financial-information provider Morningstar Inc. is under investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to correct inaccurate data it published regarding a single mutual fund in a timely manner.

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