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Nokia dumps CEO, turns to Microsoft exec

HELSINKI (AP) â¿¿ Nokia Corp. is replacing CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo with Microsoft executive Stephen Elop as the world's top maker of mobile phones aims to regain lost ground in the fiercely competitive smart phone market.

The choice of a North American executive to lead a Finnish company reflects the increasing dominance of U.S. and Canadian companies in the evolution of the phone business.

Apple Inc.'s iPhone has set the standard for today's smart phones, while Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerrys are the favorite of the corporate set. More recently, Google Inc.'s Android software has emerged as the choice for phone makers that want to challenge the iPhone.

Analysts welcomed the choice of the 46-year-old Canadian, who has worked closely with Nokia at Microsoft and at Macromedia Inc. developing software for Nokia phones. He has also held top posts at Juniper Networks Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. At Microsoft, he headed the Business division, which makes Office software.

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Stocks continue September rally; Dow gains again

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Stocks edged higher Friday, extending a rally that began nearly two weeks ago, as investors hold on to their newfound optimism about the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points in very light trading. It was the seventh day of gains out of the past eight for the index. Treasury prices eased as traders became more willing to take on risk.

Stocks have shaken off the doldrums of August and marched steadily higher in September thanks to a series of encouraging signals on the economy. The latest came Friday morning with a report that wholesale inventories shot up in July, a sign of confidence that retail sales will pick up.

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Obama: Voter anger could hurt Dems in elections

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Facing big Democratic losses in November, President Barack Obama blamed Republicans and election-year politics Friday for thwarting his efforts to do more to spur a listless national economy. He challenged Congress to quit squabbling and quickly approve "what we all agree on" â¿¿ a reprieve for expiring tax cuts for the middle class.

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