Boston Scientific Wins Battle for Guidant

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Guidant Corp. jilted longtime suitor Johnson & Johnson Wednesday in favor of a $27.2 billion offer from rival Boston Scientific Corp., ending one of the most highly charged bidding wars in years.

Dow Closes Down 2, Nasdaq Finishes Down 5

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks fell Wednesday as declining oil prices sent the energy sector lower and investors continued their jittery reactions to corporate earnings.

Lawyers Argue Cause of Death in Vioxx Case

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RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (AP) _ Lawyers for the family of a 71-year-old man who died in 2001 opened their case Wednesday by arguing that his fatal heart attack was a sudden reaction to Merck & Co.'s painkiller Vioxx and not the end result of 23 years of heart disease as Merck lawyers contend.

Lay, Skilling Appeal Judge's Ruling

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HOUSTON (AP) _ Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling on Wednesday appealed a judge's rejection of their pleas to move their fraud and conspiracy case out of Houston, where they say a hostile jury pool obliterates their chance of a fair trial.

Oil Prices Fall Below $66 Per Barrel

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Crude oil futures fell more than $1 a barrel Wednesday as U.S. supplies of gasoline rose last week and above-normal winter temperatures in the U.S. kept demand for home-heating fuels in check.

Portman: Davos Meeting Vital for Treaty

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DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) _ A gathering this week of ministers from about 30 major economic powers is vital to regain momentum needed to forge a binding trade treaty by year's end, the U.S. trade chief said Wednesday.

Bristol-Myers Earnings Up; Abbott Flat

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said Wednesday its fourth-quarter earnings more than tripled from a year ago despite falling sales because the drug maker's year-ago net income was depressed by a one-time charge.

Eli Lilly Dodges Woes Bedeviling Industry

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Eli Lilly and Co. has been largely immune from many of the woes bedeviling the pharmaceutical industry, and the company's chief executive can tick off the reasons why.

Exec: American Sees Higher Revenue in 2006

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ American Airlines, the nation's largest carrier, expects rising revenue in 2006 but faces higher costs, especially for fuel, its chief financial officer said Wednesday.

BellSouth 4Q Profit Sags on Storm Costs

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ATLANTA (AP) _ BellSouth Corp., the dominant local telephone provider in nine southeastern states, said Wednesday that heavy hurricane-related costs contributed to a more than 54 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit that occurred despite a slight increase in revenue and solid gains in DSL customers.