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Business Highlights

Sunday marks the anniversary of GM's initial public stock offering in November 2010. The company has made money for 11 straight quarters, piling up more than $16 billion in profits. Its cars and trucks are selling for good prices. And sales are strong in China.

But there are signs of trouble. GM's U.S. sales, the prime driver of its profits, aren't rising as quickly as the overall market. There's been turmoil in the executive ranks, and the company is hemorrhaging cash in Europe.

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Hill leaders voice new confidence in deficit deal

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ Congressional leaders from both parties voiced fresh optimism Friday after meeting with President Barack Obama about avoiding year-end "fiscal cliff" tax increases and spending cuts that would hammer the middle class and risk plunging the economy into recession.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said Republicans are willing to consider increased revenue "as long as it is accompanied by spending cuts" as leaders in a divided government get to work on a possible deal after a fierce election campaign.

Boehner presented a framework that one official said called for a deficit down-payment of unspecified size by year's end, to be followed by comprehensive tax reform and an overhaul of Medicare and other benefit programs in 2013.

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Sandy, budget worries hold back US factory output

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. factory production of machinery and equipment fell sharply last month, held back by temporary disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy and companies' fears that a federal budget crisis could trigger a recession next year.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory output, the most important component of industrial production, fell 0.9 percent in October from September. It would have been unchanged without the storm, the Fed said.

Overall industrial production fell 0.4 percent last month. Utility output dipped 0.1 percent, while mining, which includes oil and gas production, rose 1.5 percent.

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