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Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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US economy adds 80,000 jobs in another weak month

WASHINGTON â¿¿ The American job machine has jammed. Again.

The economy added only 80,000 jobs in June, the government said Friday, erasing any doubt that the United States is in a summer slump for the third year in a row.

It was the third consecutive month of weak job growth. From April through June, the economy produced an average of just 75,000 jobs a month, the weakest quarter since July through September 2010.

The unemployment rate stayed at 8.2 percent â¿¿ a recession-level figure, even though the Great Recession has technically been over for three years.

The numbers could hurt President Barack Obama's odds for re-election.

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Get ready for the end of record corporate profits

NEW YORK â¿¿ For almost three years, no matter what has rattled the financial markets â¿¿ a debt crisis in Europe, high gasoline prices, a slower economy â¿¿ investors have been soothed by rising corporate profits.

The storyline became as predictable as a soap opera's. But when the latest round of corporate earnings starts rolling in next week, look for a twist: Profits are expected to fall.

Stock analysts expect earnings for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index to decline 1 percent for April through June compared with the year before, according to S&P Capital IQ, the research arm of S&P.

That would break a streak of 10 quarters of gains that started in the final quarter of 2009.

Over recent weeks, a motley collection of chain stores, steel producers and technology titans have warned of slowing profits. They all point to similar culprits â¿¿ flagging sales to Europe and slower economic growth in China.

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Yahoo, Facebook settle patent dispute, ad alliance

SAN FRANCISCO â¿¿ Facebook and Yahoo have agreed to settle a patent dispute, averting a potentially lengthy battle over the technology running two of the Internet's most popular destinations.

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