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Around the business world

Staff and Wire Reports

WASHINGTON ” Inflation at the wholesale level plunged for a second straight month, led by big declines for gasoline and new cars. Retail sales also are down.

Wal-Mart and rival Target are brewing up a price war for toys, electronics and other things consumers may want for Christmas. It will all spell savings for shoppers, but profit woes for retailers.

ATLANTA ” Home Depot blamed a slowing housing market and a relatively calm hurricane season as it reports a 3.1 percent drop in third-quarter profit. The nation’s largest home improvement store chain also lowers its earnings-per-share growth guidance for the year and says 2007 will be challenging, too.

MOUNT LAUREL ” Ten food and beverage companies that advertise heavily to children announced that while they may still sell sugary cereals and fatty fries, their advertisements directed to kids will do more to promote healthy foods and exercise.

DETROIT ” Ford’s F-series trucks are under an attack seldom seen in the company’s 103-year history, mainly from domestic rival GM and Japanese nemesis Toyota. The onslaught threatens Ford’s supremacy in the segment and comes as the company is buffeted by rising labor costs, intense competition and changing consumer tastes. In a related story, accounting errors dating to 2001 force Ford Motor Co. to restate its earnings on Tuesday, raising the company’s net income for those years by $850 million.

NEW YORK ” Home builder D.R. Horton Inc. said its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell 51 percent as fewer homes closed in a sagging market, but results still come in ahead of Wall Street expectations.

BOSTON ” Staples Inc. says its third-quarter profit rose 29 percent as the nation’s largest office products retailer reported strong back-to-school sales, increased customer traffic and a higher average order size.

CHICAGO ” New research has overturned one of the most fundamental beliefs among doctors treating heart attacks: that opening a blocked artery is always a good idea, even if it’s days later. Instead, the study revealed that such late care does no good and might even be harmful.

TOKYO ” Sony’s highly anticipated PlayStation 3 can’t play some older games, a disappointment for fans who hoped to run the titles on the new machines and another misstep for the stumbling electronics company as it faced off in a crucial, three-way console war.

SAN FRANCISCO ” Google Inc. has completed its $1.65 billion takeover of YouTube Inc., combining the Internet’s search and video leaders in a deal that could break new ground in entertainment, advertising and copyright law.

WASHINGTON ” What next? Coal in their stockings? Traditional Thanksgiving lunches at some schools will be missing a key ingredient next week. There aren’t enough turkeys on the market for the federal program that provides free or reduced-price lunches to 29 million kids.

NEW YORK ” Wall Street recovered from an early decline, turning higher as investors shake off worries about the economy triggered by Home Depot Inc.’s weak profits. Crude-oil futures rose as markets remain concerned about supplies for the Northern Hemisphere winter.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado CO


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