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AP Financial News Summary at 7:52 p.m. EDT

October 2, 2006

Harrah’s Gets $15 Billion Buyout Offer

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LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Harrah’s Entertainment received a $15.05 billion offer for the company from two private-equity firms in what would be the biggest deal ever for a casino operator and the fifth-largest leveraged buyout in history.

Dow Ends Down 9 on Mixed Economic Data

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks closed lower for the second straight session Monday after the Dow Jones industrial average flirted briefly early in the day with its all-time high close.

Oil Prices Decline Despite Output Cuts

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Oil prices dropped Monday as traders apparently shrugged off worries about whether production cuts by two key producing nations were harbingers of further restrictions by OPEC members.

Comair Says Pilots May Derail Delta Bid

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CINCINNATI (AP) _ Comair said a lack of concessions from its pilots union may derail a bid by the regional carrier to win a contract for jet service from its parent, Delta Air Lines Inc.

Google Opens Block-Long Office in N.Y.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ It’s so big, you won’t even need Google Maps to find it. Internet search engine Google Inc. has a new home in New York: a 300,000-square foot, three-floor office that covers a Manhattan city block.

Manufacturing Growth Slows in Sept.

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A pair of indicators offered a mixed picture of the economy Monday as growth slowed among U.S. manufacturers while commercial construction showed surprising resilience.

Siemens AG to Defer Executive Pay Hike

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BERLIN (AP) _ Siemens AG said Monday it will defer an executive pay hike and contribute the proceeds to a 35 million euro ($44.3 million) fund to help employees of its former cell phone business.

EEOC Files Discrimination Lawsuits

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MIAMI (AP) _ The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Monday that it has filed employment discrimination suits against the Atlanta Bread Co. restaurant chain, BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. and auto parts retailer AutoZone Inc.

Stores See Good Signs Ahead of Holidays

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NEW YORK (AP) _ A warning to procrastinators: Better shop early if you want the must-have holiday gifts. Already, toy sellers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Toys R Us Inc. and KB Toys Inc., are scrambling to get their hands on more hot toys, particularly T.M.X. Elmo from Mattel Inc.’s Fisher-Price, whose better-than-expected sales are making it increasingly likely to be the must-have toy for the season.

Chip Sales Set Record in August

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Semiconductor sales worldwide surged to a monthly record of $20.5 billion in August, fueled by higher demand for memory chips used in PCs and mobile gadgets such as cell phones and digital cameras, an industry group reported Monday.

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