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PARIS (AP) ⿿ The French government has promised ⿬20 billion ($25 billion) in tax credits to businesses as part of a "competitiveness pact" that it hopes will spark innovation and lower unemployment, but falls short of calls in a recent report for a "shock" to the economy.

The announcement of the plan Tuesday came a day after a government-commissioned report â¿¿ by Louis Gallois, former head of Airbus parent EADS â¿¿ said the country's ailing economy needed a big kick to stay globally competitive.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the government's plan, which includes a ⿬500 million fund to help struggling small businesses, would put the country "back at the heart of the world economy."

___

By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 133.24 points to close at 13,245.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 11.13 points to 1,428.39, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 12.27 points to 3,011.93.

Benchmark crude rose $3.06, or 3.6 percent, to finish at $88.71 in New York. Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, surged $3.34, or 3.1 percent, to $111.07 in London.

Wholesale gasoline rose 8 cents to $2.70 a gallon. Heating oil rose 7 cents to $3.05 a gallon. Natural gas rose 6 cents $3.62 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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