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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Obama offers mortgage relief on Western trip

LAS VEGAS (AP) â¿¿ President Barack Obama is offering mortgage relief to struggling homeowners in hard-hit Nevada and around the country â¿¿ saying he can't wait for an "increasingly dysfunctional Congress" to act.

The president said Monday that "where they won't act, I will." He made the comments in remarks prepared for a stop in Las Vegas as he began a three-day Western trip.

His new housing initiative would allow homeowners with federally backed mortgages who are still current on their payments to refinance no matter how much their home value has dropped. It's recognition that measures the administration has taken so far haven't done as much as had hoped on housing.

Obama said he'll go around Congress to take executive action wherever possible, with Republican lawmakers prepared to block his initiatives.

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The IPO market, an engine of job growth, stalls

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Two companies with quirky names, Ubiquiti Networks and Zeltiq Aesthetics, made their public debuts earlier this month with listings on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Each company's stock went up modestly on the first day of trading.

Ubiquiti pocketed $106 million for the day, and Zeltiq made $91 million. They were the most successful stock debuts of the past two months. Then again, they were the only stock debuts of the past two months.

The market for initial public offerings, or IPOs, is suffering through a drought of Texas proportions. Companies thinking of going public are deciding it's just too risky.

The stock market lost nearly 20 percent of its value in a month this past summer. Swings of 200 points for the Dow Jones industrial average continue to be commonplace. Getting the timing wrong for a coming-out party can mean missing out on millions of dollars.

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