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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ ___

Dow falls 391 points on worldwide fears about economy

Investors on Wall Street and around the world sold stocks with abandon Thursday, more convinced than ever that a global recession is under way. The Dow Jones industrial average lost almost 400 points.

The sell-off began in Asia, intensified in Europe and rattled markets in the United States all day. Stocks in New York staged a small rally before the end of trading but still finished near their lows for the year.

One financial indicator after another showed that investors are quickly losing hope that the economy can keep growing. The price of oil and metals, both of which depend on economic demand, fell sharply. Traders bought bonds for safety.

FedEx, a company that ships so many goods it is considered a barometer of the U.S. economy, had to lower its earnings forecast for the year because its customers are putting off purchases of electronics and other gadgets from China.

___

HP names eBay veteran Meg Whitman as new CEO

Hewlett-Packard Co. has named Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO and California candidate for governor, as its new CEO, pushing aside Leo Apotheker after just 11 months on the job. Whitman got the top spot because there are few available people with the experience to run complex technology businesses, a source familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Apotheker is being removed because the board lost confidence in his ability to lead the company long-term.

The management shake-up represents yet another turnaround strategy at one of Silicon Valley's oldest, but most publicly dysfunctional, firms. Since joining HP in November, Apotheker's strategic decisions had been drastic, and did little to inspire confidence. HP's stock fell nearly 50 percent during his time at the helm.___

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