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Associated Press

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Editors:

Among the stories for Tuesday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES

AUTO SALES

DETROIT — Americans continue to buy new cars and trucks at a strong pace, drawn to dealerships by cheap loans, aging cars that need to be replaced, and a new lineup of fuel-efficient midsize sedans. September sales were led by foreign-based companies. Toyota's rose 42 percent, while Volkswagen's jumped 34 percent. When all carmakers finish reporting on Tuesday, September sales could reach an annualized rate of 14.9 million in the U.S., making it the best month since March of 2008. By Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin

AP photos

RETAIL-HOLIDAY FORECAST

NEW YORK — Americans are expected to spend more during what's traditionally the busiest shopping season of the year, but they're not exactly ready to shop 'til they drop like they have been in the past two years. The National Retail Federation predicts that sales during the winter holiday shopping period in November and December will rise 4.1 percent, the smallest increase since 2009. By Retail Writer Anne D'Innocenzio.

AMERICAN AIRLINES-SEATS

DALLAS — American Airlines says passenger seats on a third flight came loose during flight and it's continuing to inspect other jets with similar seating. The discovery occurred after similar incidents since last week. By Airlines Writer David Koenig.

MYANMAR-INVESTMENT BANK

YANGON, Myanmar— Alisher Ali opened Myanmar's first-ever investment bank in July, placing him in sparse company. While many chatter about the economic potential of one of the world's last frontier markets, very few foreigners have actually set up shop. By Erika Kinetz.

AP photos

MARKETS & ECONOMY

HOME PRICES

WASHINGTON — A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 4.6 percent in August from a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase in more than six years. CoreLogic, a private real estate data provider, says prices rose 0.3 percent in August from July, the sixth straight monthly gain. Steady price increases, combined with greater home sales and rising builder confidence, suggest the housing recovery may be sustainable. By Christopher S. Rugaber.

AP photo

WALL STREET

NEW YORK — Stocks are mixed after a measure of American home prices posted the largest gain in more than six years, the latest data to indicate an improving housing market.

AP photo

— OIL PRICES — The price of oil is slightly lower as investors weigh positive U.S. economic news against ongoing concerns about Europe's debt crisis

AIG-REGULATION

WASHINGTON — American International Group says the government may designate the company large enough to pose a risk to the broader financial system. The label would subject the bailed-out insurance giant to greater federal oversight. By Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger.

INDUSTRY

— BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY-RAILROADS — Warren Buffett's company recently discovered it owns two short-line railroads it must sell because of its 2010 acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.

— DYNEGY-BANKRUPTCY — Power provider Dynegy has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after eliminating more than $4 billion in debt.

— NETHERLANDS-TAINTED SALMON — Smoked salmon tainted with salmonella bacteria has sickened hundreds of people in the Netherlands and the United States, sparking a major recall.

— OVERHAUL-INSURER GROWTH — A new study says the health care overhaul is poised to pour billions of dollars into an insurance industry thirsty for customers.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA

T-MOBILE-METROPCS

NEW YORK — The parent of T-Mobile USA, the country's fourth-largest cellphone carrier, is reportedly close to a deal to buy smaller MetroPCS Communications Inc.

LINKEDIN-INFLUENCERS

SAN FRANCISCO — LinkedIn is adding more expert advice to its website: "Influencers" that include President Barack Obama, business moguls, Internet bloggers, self-help gurus and entrepreneurs. The online professional networking service hopes to extend its clout beyond the help-wanted market. By Technology Writer Michael Liedtke.

— SKOREA-SAMSUNG-APPLE — Samsung files a motion with a U.S. court to add Apple's iPhone 5 to their ongoing patent battle.

INTERNATIONAL

PORTUGAL-HOMES IN PERIL

LISBON — The peaceful retirement of Teresa Dourado is about to be shattered. The 77-year-old widow raised two children with her husband in their fourth-floor apartment. But Portugal is scrapping its long-standing rent controls in one of the government's most radical economic and social reforms since the ailing country needed a bailout last year. Critics say the anticipated rent hikes, which are aimed at boosting the economy, could also price thousands of families out of their homes. By Barry Hatton.

AP photos

— EUROPE-BANKS — An expert report says Europe's banks should create a firewall between their traditional retail banking operations and more risky investment banking ones and force executives to personally take losses when their banks fail.

— AUSTRALIA-ECONOMY — Australia's central bank cuts its benchmark interest rate due to a slowdown in China's economy and weakness in Europe.

— SPAIN-FINANCIAL CRISIS — Unemployment in Spain rises nearly 80,000 to 4.7 million in September as summer hiring ends.

— IRAN — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blames the steep drop in Iran's currency on "psychological pressures" linked to Western sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program.

— IRAQ-PORT — Iraq signed a $14 million deal with a U.S. consortium to modernize a major port in the country's southern province of Basra in a move aimed at developing key infrastructure neglected during years of war and sanctions. By Sinan Salaheddin.

— INDIA-KINGFISHER AIRLINES — Kingfisher Airlines has grounded flights for at least three days after a violent strike over unpaid wages at the cash-strapped Indian carrier.

— THAILAND-RICE — Thailand extends a rice-buying scheme that has been plagued by complaints of corruption and threatens the country's long-time reign as the world's top rice exporter.

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