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Around the business world

Daily Staff Report

Oil prices hit $76 per barrel: WASHINGTON – Oil prices hit a new high above $76 a barrel in a market agitated by escalating violence in the Middle East, the standoff with Iran over its nuclear program and news of explosions on Nigerian pipelines.Stocks tumble for second straight day: NEW YORK – Wall Street retreated for a second straight session as a record high for oil prices and discouraging analyst remarks about Wal-Mart Stores Inc. intensify concerns about consumer spending.WTO deal is close, Russian says: ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says Russia and the United States had reached a deal on one of the key sticking points holding up agreement on Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization, and that he hopes a final deal could be signed in the next two days.Renault CEO sees GM merger as an opportunity: DETRIOT – Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan, says a proposed alliance with General Motors Corp. offers a “great opportunity” for his two companies and should be cemented by their acquisition of a stake in the U.S. automaker.Pepsico profits soar: PURCHASE, N.Y. – Strong sales of non-carbonated drinks like Gatorade and Aquafina boosted Pepsico’s second quarter profit by 14 percent. Analysts predict further growth for the nation’s second largest soft-drink maker.McClatchy profits push higher: NEW YORK – Newspaper publishers reported a mixed bag of earnings, with McClatchy Co., now the industry’s No. 2 player, easily beating Wall Street estimates while Tribune Co.’s results slumped on on lower circulation and the sale of some television stations.GM offering health-care advice: WASHINGTON – General Motors Corp., which spends more on health care than steel, is offering advice to Congress on ways to streamline health care costs and improve quality.Marriott profits rise again: SALT LAKE CITY – otel operator Marriott International Inc. says its second-quarter profit climbed 35 percent on increased sales across all business segments and improved revenue per available room.SBA failed in terrorism relief loans: WASHINGTON – The Small Business Administration failed to ensure that businesses receiving government-backed terrorism relief loans were actually hurt by the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the agency’s internal watchdog tells.Lead paint spurs lawsuit: GREENWOOD, Miss. – Five families in the impoverished Mississippi Delta claim in a lawsuit that lead paint on their apartment walls caused their children to suffer learning disabilities and uncontrollable behavior problems. But one of the nation’s largest paint companies has another explanation – bad traits that were simply passed on in their genes.Intel to slash management jobs: SAN JOSE, Calif. – Intel Corp. plans to cut 1,000 management jobs worldwide in an effort to reduce costs and make its operations more efficient, the world’s largest computer chip maker said Thursday.Dell streamlining pricing: DALLAS – Dell Inc. outlines plans to simplify pricing and reduce the number of mail-in rebates for consumers and small business as part of the computer maker’s recent $100 million initiative to improve customer service.Japan may boost interest rates: TOKYO – In Japan, the clock is ticking on one of the most curious experiments in the history of central banking, a five-year stretch of near zero interest rates. It could all end Friday, when the Bank of Japan is expected to finally boost borrowing costs now that the economy here is recovering. Japan’s central bank is beginning a pivotal two-day policy meeting amid widespread expectations it will raise interest rates.Vail, Colorado


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