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The Associated Press

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Apple sets record for company value at $624 billion

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Apple is Wall Street's all-time MVP â¿¿that's Most Valuable Property.

On Monday, Apple's surging stock propelled the company's value to $624 billion, the world's highest, ever. It beat the record for market capitalization set by Microsoft Corp. in the heady days of the Internet boom.

After a four-month dip, Apple's stock has hit new highs recently because of optimism around what is believed to be the impending launch of the iPhone 5, and possibly a smaller, cheaper iPad.

Apple Inc. has been the world's most valuable company since the end of last year. It's now worth 54 percent more than No. 2 Exxon Mobil Corp.

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Lowe's 2Q results miss expectations, cuts outlook

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ For Lowe's, the improving housing market is still a bust.

The nation's second largest improvement retailer cut its full-year-earnings and revenue forecasts Monday after posting a 10 percent drop in second-quarter net income. Revenue at stores opened at least a year, a key yardstick for measuring the health of the retailer, declined 0.4 percent.

Lowe's results were hurt in part by a timing shift in how the retailer reported the quarter and a charge tied to job cuts. But the latest performance also shows the company's efforts to revamp its merchandise and prices isn't working while its rival Home Depot, is reaping the benefits of the improving but still weak housing market.

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Summertime blues for drivers: Gas at August record

You may pay more than ever for a late-summer drive.

U.S. drivers paid an average of $3.72 per gallon on Monday. That's the highest price ever on this date, according to auto club AAA, a shade above the $3.717 average on Aug. 20, 2008. A year ago, the average was $3.578.

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