Morgan Stanley 2Q Income More Than Doubles

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Morgan Stanley Inc., the nation's second largest securities firm, reported Wednesday that its second-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier on record revenue driven by stronger underwriting, merger and acquisition, and trading results.

May Sales Boost H&M Quarterly Profit

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB posted a 12 percent increase in second-quarter profit Wednesday, helped by a spike in sales in May but capped by higher marketing costs.

Stocks Higher on Morgan Stanley Earnings

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks rose in early trading Wednesday as stronger-than-expected earnings from FedEx Corp. and Morgan Stanley Inc. put investors' inflation fears on the back burner.

Japan Agrees to Lift Ban on U.S. Beef

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TOKYO (AP) _ Japan agreed Wednesday to lift its ban on U.S. beef imports, pending planned inspections of U.S. meat processing plants, the agriculture ministry said. The Asian nation imposed the ban over concerns about mad cow disease.

FedEx Delivers 4Q Profit

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ FedEx Corp., operator of the world's largest express transportation company, on Wednesday reported a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings, citing solid economic growth in U.S. and international markets.

Macquarie Bid for PCCW Assets Complicated

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HONG KONG (AP) _ Australian bank Macquarie's bid for the telecommunications and media assets of Hong Kong phone operator PCCW Ltd. was complicated Wednesday by a reported rival bid from U.S. investment firm Newbridge Capital and objections from PCCW's 20-percent shareholder, China Netcom Group.

Ahold Reports 1Q Earnings of $298 Million

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Royal Ahold NV, owner of several U.S. grocery chains including Stop & Shop, reported first-quarter profit that rose 76 percent on stronger retail margins and a sharp improvement in performance at its bulk food distribution division.

Calls Grow for Bank of Japan Chief to Quit

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TOKYO (AP) _ A day after Japan's top banker acknowledged he had made a hefty profit from a scandal-tainted investment fund, calls for his resignation rose a notch Wednesday in this nation where symbolic and graceful show of remorse has long been valued.

Boston Globe Consolidates Newsroom, Online

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BOSTON (AP) _ The Boston Globe is integrating the news gathering operations of its newsroom and its Web site in an effort to stay competitive in a global news and advertising environment, the newspaper announced.

Oil Prices Fall to $69.16 a Barrel

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SINGAPORE (AP) _ Crude oil futures fell Wednesday as traders waited for the release of U.S. oil inventories and developments in the diplomatic standoff over Iran's nuclear ambitions.