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More than 35,000 people marched in two separate demonstrations in Athens organized by labor unions. Another 20,000 gathered to protest in the country's second largest city of Thessaloniki.

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Sandy knocks off big chunk of retail sales

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Superstorm Sandy knocked nearly $4 billion off of retail sales last week in the hard-hit Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, nearly 20 percent of the usual total, according to figures released Tuesday by a retail data service.

MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse said Tuesday that the regions, which account for about 24 percent of retail sales nationwide, typically generate $18.7 billion in sales for the week ended Saturday. But revenue came in at about $15 billion, excluding auto sales.

That dragged down the nationwide sales total for the week ended Saturday. Retailers typically generate $78 billion in sales for that particular week. McNamara estimates the total was about $74 billion.

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US employers post fewest jobs in 5 months

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. employers posted fewer job openings in September after advertising more in August than first estimated. The report suggests hiring will likely remain modest in the coming months.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that job openings dropped by 100,000 to 3.56 million, the fewest in five months. August's openings were revised up to 3.66 million.

The number of available jobs has jumped about 63 percent since July 2009, one month after the recession ended. It remains well below the more than 4 million jobs a month advertised before the recession began in December 2007.

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Freddie Mac posts $2.9 billion net income for Q3

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Mortgage giant Freddie Mac earned $2.9 billion from July through September, its fourth straight profitable quarter. The government-controlled company attributed the gain to rising home prices and fewer mortgage delinquencies.

Freddie said Tuesday that it paid a dividend of $1.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and requested no additional federal aid.

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