AP Financial News Summary at 2:51 p.m. EDT
Aug. 20, 2006
ASEAN Rushes to Create EU-Style Market
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Southeast Asian ministers hope to fast-track plans to create a European-style single market by 2015 in talks in Malaysia this week, as the region struggles to strengthen its economic muscle to counter competition from rising giants China and India.
Natural-Gas Prices Inflate State Coffers
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ELK CITY, Okla. (AP) _ Suzy Spieker's telephone rings as many as 10 times a day with calls from people wanting to move to the Oklahoma frontier to get in on the money. Want a rental? Join the list, the Elk City real estate agent tells them. Want to buy? Her book of three-bedroom home listings has been whittled to a single page by an influx of oil and gas field workers.
Colombia Jungle Woodcutting Dangerous
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RIOSUCIO, Colombia (AP) _ Woodcutting has become a deadly business in this muggy, river-laced jungle region bordering Panama that leftist rebels are trying to retake from far-right paramilitaries.
Japan Ends U.S. Long-Grain Rice Imports
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TOKYO (AP) _ Japan has suspended imports of U.S. long-grain rice following a positive test for trace amounts of a genetically modified strain not approved for human consumption, a news report said Sunday.
Ford to Halt Production at 10 Plants
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DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Co. said Friday it would temporarily halt production at 10 assembly plants between now and the end of the year, blaming high gas prices for pushing many consumers away from its pickups and SUVs and toward higher-mileage models.
Dow Closes Up 47 on Investor Optimism
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Investors eked out Wall Street's fifth-straight day of gains Friday, bucking concerns about lagging consumer sentiment and disappointing second-quarter results from Dell Inc.
Dell Stock Drop Caps Week of Bad News
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DALLAS (AP) _ Dell Inc. shares tumbled 2.8 percent Friday, capping off a week of bad news that included a record-setting recall of notebook batteries, the disclosure of a federal accounting probe and a 51 percent decline in second-quarter profit.
Wal-Mart Battling to Revive Growth
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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is fighting battles on multiple fronts after posting its first quarterly profit decline in 10 years, and analysts question whether the world's largest retailer can regain the feverish growth rates of its past.
Federal DOT Head Tours Alaska Oil Field
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PRUDHOE BAY, Alaska (AP) _ Acting Transportation Secretary Maria Cino toured Prudhoe Bay on Friday to assess BP PLC's progress following federal orders to improve its pipeline corrosion management at the nation's largest oil field.
Sector Wrap: Computers
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Two of the world's largest computer makers posted quarterly earnings this week, with markedly different results.
Microsoft Switches Stock Buyback Tactic
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REDMOND, Wash. (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. said Friday it was switching tactics in its $40 billion stock buyback program after only $3.8 billion worth of shares were tendered in a ``Dutch auction'' that expired Thursday, well below the $20 billion it had been prepared to spend.