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Economy

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images
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Holiday Sales Rose 3 Percent

NEW YORK (AP) — A major retail trade organization is announcing that holiday sales rose 3 percent, below its forecast for a 4.1 percent gain.

The season was marked by heavy discounting in its final days as stores tried to unload excess goods after shoppers held back on spending

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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Survey: Small Businesses Optimistic Despite ‘Cliff’

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners were slightly more optimistic at the end of 2012, even as they awaited the outcome of negotiations in Congress over the "fiscal cliff."

That's the finding of a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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White House Rejects Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ Option

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is rejecting House Speaker John Boehner's plan to push a backup tax bill as a way to deal with the "fiscal cliff."

In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney says Boehner's "Plan B" approach can't pass the Senate. And he s

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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Stocks Lower As Investors Watch Washington

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slipping on Wall Street after more tensions flared up in federal budget talks in Washington.

The Dow Jones industrial average and other major market indexes had been little changed in morning trading but took a turn lower after House Speaker John Boehner expressed frustration at how slowly negotiations were going with the White House

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
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GM’s November U.S. Sales Rise 3 Percent

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says its November U.S. sales rose just 3 percent from a year earlier.

The nation's largest automaker says it sold more than 186,000 cars and trucks, led by the Buick and Cadillac brands

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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U.S. Pending Home Sales Jump To Nearly A 6-Year High

WASHINGTON (AP) — An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive

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Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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Home Prices Increase In Most Major U.S. Cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices increased in September in most major U.S. cities, more evidence of a housing recovery that is providing a lift to the fragile economy.

The Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller national index measuring prices in 20 cities rose 3 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago. Pr

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Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
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Oil Falls As U.S. Prepares To Push Middle East Peace

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil is falling a day after reaching its highest point in almost a month as worries about a possible disruption in Middle East crude supplies lessen.

Benchmark crude fell 68 cents to $88

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Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
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U.S. Home Sales Rise 2.1 Percent In October

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose solidly in October, helped by improvement in the job market and cheap mortgages.

The National Association of Realtors says sales rose 2

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
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Obama, GOP Leaders Lay Down Markers On Budget Deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is setting out to leverage his re-election into legislative success in an upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans over taxes, deficits and the impending "fiscal cliff

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