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Business Highlights

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Two big threats to the economy shrink a bit

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Economists are less worried that the U.S. will experience another round of mass layoffs and its first bout of deflation since the 1930s after the release of two government reports Thursday.

The third drop in jobless claims in four weeks and a mild uptick in wholesale prices in August add to evidence that a second recession is unlikely.

Concerns about another downturn intensified last month when jobless claims spiked past the half-million mark. Wholesale prices, meanwhile, fell in early summer for three straight months. But those trends have, for now, reversed themselves, leaving an economy that is still growing, but at a pace too slow to create many jobs.

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Congress wants tough stance with China over trade

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Congress is pressuring the Obama administration to take a tougher stand with China over trade practices that they say have cost Americans millions of jobs.

Democrats and Republicans on committees in the Senate and House told Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday that China is manipulating its currency. They said that and other practices have led to a huge trade gap between the two countries and job losses in the United States.

Geithner said the administration was ready to work with Congress on an effective strategy. But he cautioned that the government should not take any action that would wind up hurting U.S. companies and businesses by triggering retaliation by China, an important trading partner.

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FedEx delivers int'l profits but cuts US jobs

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ FedEx Corp. indicated Thursday that the global economic recovery remains uneven. While strength in international shipments is boosting net income, FedEx is cutting 1,700 jobs in its U.S. freight business to offset losses there.

The world's second-largest package delivery company did raise its financial outlook after as it said first-quarter net income doubled. But projections for the second quarter and full year fell shy of Wall Street expectations. FedEx shares dropped almost 4 percent.

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