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The Commerce Department said Tuesday that the deficit in the current account decreased 12.1 percent to $117.4 billion in the second quarter. That's down from a deficit of $133.6 billion in the January-March quarter, which had been the largest in three years.

The current account is the broadest measure of trade. It tracks the sale of merchandise and services between nations as well as investment flows. Economists watch the current account as a sign of how much the U.S. needs to borrow from foreigners.

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Ford hopes its new Fusion will be Camry crusher

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) â¿¿ Ford hopes the redesigned Fusion will finally trounce the Camry.

The Fusion has become Ford's best-selling car since it went on sale in 2005, and it's one of the top sellers in the country. But Ford hopes the sexier styling, improved fuel economy and features like automatic parallel parking on the 2013 version will help it pass the perennial leader, the Toyota Camry.

Ford is enlisting "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest to introduce the redesigned sedan alongside CEO Alan Mulally in New York's Times Square Tuesday. It also is holding events in Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and on the lawn of its headquarters in Dearborn, Mich.

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Alpha closing 8 mines, cutting 1,200 jobs

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) â¿¿ Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it was cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, laying off 400 workers immediately by closing mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, CEO Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha's 13,000-person workforce.

Alpha said it will close four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines, and all are non-union operations.

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