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AP Financial News Summary at 6:14 p.m. EDT

September 9, 2004

Jobless Claims Plummet to 319,000

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of new people signing up for jobless benefits plunged last week, partly reflecting a tapering off of filings related to Hurricane Charley.

Health Care Premiums Jump 11.2 Percent

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Health care costs continued to surge this year as family premiums in employer-sponsored plans jumped 11.2 percent, the fourth year of double-digit growth, according to a new study.

Stocks Mixed on Job Data, Oil Prices

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Stocks were mixed Thursday as investor enthusiasm over a sharp drop in initial unemployment claims was offset by rising oil prices and a disappointing wholesale inventories report. Technology shares benefited from a pair of outlook upgrades and strong earnings from National Semiconductor Corp.

House Votes to Block New Overtime Rules

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ In a sharp rebuke of a new administration policy, the House moved Thursday to block the Labor Department from carrying out overtime rules that critics argued could deprive millions of workers of their overtime pay.

Some See Delta Plan As Bankruptcy Setup

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ATLANTA (AP) _ Key elements of Delta Air Lines Inc.’s broad turnaround plan will take months if not years to implement, suggesting the struggling carrier is setting itself up for how it will survive after a likely Chapter 11 filing, industry observers and legal experts said Thursday.

Mitsubishi to Cut 1,200 Jobs at Ill. Plant

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NORMAL, Ill. (AP) _ Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will end second-shift production at its only U.S. plant next week and lay off about 1,200 workers a week later as the automaker battles plunging sales and mounting debt, the company said Thursday.

Judge Won’t Block Oracle Takeover Bid

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A federal judge on Thursday rejected the government’s bid to block Oracle Corp.’s $7.7 billion takeover bid for rival PeopleSoft Inc. on grounds that a combination between the business software makers would throttle competition in a narrow market niche.

Groups Petition U.S. on China Policies

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ A business and labor coalition, seeking to apply political pressure before the presidential election, asked the Bush administration on Thursday to bring a trade case accusing China of manipulating its currency to gain unfair trade advantages against American companies and workers.

DuPont Agrees to Settle in Teflon Suit

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ DuPont agreed on Thursday to pay as much as $343 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the chemical giant contaminated drinking water supplies in West Virginia and Ohio with a key ingredient of its Teflon product.

Some Businesses Boom After Fla. Hurricanes

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MIAMI (AP) _ Every time Paul Mehok of National Nail Corp. sees a hurricane coming toward the Southeast, he feels ``this little guilt twinge.″

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