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AP Financial News Summary at 2:00 p.m. EDT

June 9, 2006

Stocks Tumble in Early Afternoon Trading

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Cautious investors pushed stocks moderately lower Friday as persistent unease over inflation and interest rates prompted more selling on Wall Street. The markets limped toward the end of the worst week of the year.

Oil Prices Push Trade Gap Higher in April

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The U.S. trade deficit rose in April after two months of rare declines, pushed higher by surging oil prices and a flood of imported furniture, televisions and toys from China.

Oil Prices Up Amid Continued Iraq Unrest

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Oil prices rose Friday, reversing a three-day decline. Brokers attributed the rise to tough talk from an Iranian cleric and the kidnapping of a senior Iraqi petroleum industry official _ proof that the killing of al-Qaida’s leader in Iraq did not mark the end of instability in that country.

Bernanke: Productivity Aided by Technology

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ America’s strong productivity performance has been bolstered not only by the greater use of computers and other technologies but also by the economy’s flexibility, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday.

Northwest Workers Approve Concessions

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Baggage handlers and ramp workers at Northwest Airlines Corp. on Friday approved concessions aimed at helping the carrier emerge from bankruptcy protection.

UAW Elections Come at Key Time for Union

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DETROIT (AP) _ With his truck-making plant slated to close, you’d think that Chris Kimmons would be mad at his union for not doing enough to preserve the 2,350 jobs there. But the president of United Auto Workers Local 919 at the Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Norfolk, Va., says he has faith in the union’s leadership, and he’ll support President Ron Gettelfinger at the UAW’s constitutional convention next week in Las Vegas.

Railroads Struggle to Ship Coal in U.S.

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WHEATLAND, Wyo. (AP) _ In the time it takes to microwave a frozen dinner, another 120 tons of coal is dumped from a railroad car at the Laramie River Station. It’s a scene that can occur 200 times a day.

Toronto Stock Exchange CEO Eyes U.S. Deal

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Toronto Stock Exchange isn’t looking overseas for a major deal to compete with bigger U.S. rivals. Instead, Chief Executive Richard Nesbitt said Friday the TSE hopes to become a North American financial powerhouse by acquiring an American futures exchange.

Global Markets Rebound After Sell-Off

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Stock markets around the globe bounced back Friday after worries about rising interest rates sparked heavy losses for much of the week.

NYSE Investigates Short Selling in Vonage

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NEW YORK (AP) _ Regulators at the New York Stock Exchange are investigating whether short sellers helped fuel the decline of Vonage Holdings Corp.’s share price since its initial public offering last month, according to a published report.

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