Schering Accepts $19.5B Offer From Bayer

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BERLIN (AP) _ German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer AG said Thursday it would make a 16.3 billion euro ($19.5 billion) white-knight offer for Schering AG, whose management said it would accept the offer over a hostile bid from Merck KgA.

Tim Hortons IPO Prices at $23.16 Per Share

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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) _ Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc. priced its initial public stock offering at $23.16 per share Thursday ahead of its expected trading debut Friday.

S&P to Add Google to Index; Stock Climbs

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Google Inc.'s stock will be added to the Standard & Poor's 500 index, a long-anticipated rite of passage that lifted the online search engine leader's recently sagging shares.

Dow Closes Down 47, Nasdaq Closes Down 3

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Wall Street had a renewed case of interest rate anxiety Thursday, with stocks falling on strong economic news and a jump in oil prices that heightened worries about inflation.

Lawyer Cross-Examines Ex-Enron Treasurer

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HOUSTON (AP) _ The government's last major witness in the Enron fraud and conspiracy trial backpedaled Thursday when grilled about his assertion that former Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling approved the use of a fraudulent financial structure.

Analysts: GM Buyouts May Not Stop Slide

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DETROIT (AP) _ General Motors Corp. has big plans to become a smaller company, and tried to prove it this week by offering buyouts to more than 100,000 workers and selling a majority stake in its commercial mortgage division.

Existing Home Sales Up 5.2 Percent in Feb.

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Sales of existing homes had fallen for five straight months before an unexpected increase in February, helped by unusually warm weather. But slack demand in some formally red-hot housing markets produced what one analyst called a ``tale of two cities.''

Japanese Stocks Higher at Open, Dollar Falls

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TOKYO (AP) _ Japanese stocks rose Friday morning as traders bought real estate issues following upbeat land price data. The dollar fell against the yen.

Delta, Union Ordered to Start Negotiating

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The head of an arbitration panel on Thursday ordered the management and pilots union at Delta Air Lines Inc. to immediately begin negotiating for an agreement to avoid a collapse of the 77-year-old airline.

ConAgra Foods Reports $31.7M Loss for 3Q

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ Packaged food company ConAgra Foods Inc. on Thursday reported a loss of $31.7 million for the third quarter because of one-time charges related to the restructuring plan it announced last week.

Palm's 3Q Profits Soar, Beat Expectations

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Palm Inc. on Thursday said profits surged in its fiscal third quarter, fueled by strong shipments of its Treo smart phones.