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BC-Business News Digest

Business News at 5:30 p.m.

The supervisor is Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos, ext. 1900. For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Expanded AP content can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact customersupport(at)ap.org or call 877-836-9477.

If you have questions about transmission of financial market listings, please call 800-3AP-STOX.

A selection of top photos can be found at: http://bit.ly/APTopPhotos.

All times EST.

NEW THIS DIGEST:

â¿¿ Adds: AIRLINES-INTERNET ACCESS, FORECLOSURE RATES, HFR, FED-FORECAST

â¿¿ Updates: WALL STREET, RIGHT-TO-WORK-MICHIGAN, GUATEMALA-MCAFEE

â¿¿ Note: The story MUTUAL FUND FLOWS listed on earlier digests will not move in this cycle. The story is expected to move Thursday.

TOP STORIES

FEDERAL RESERVE

WASHINGTON â¿¿ The Federal Reserve sends its clearest signal to date that it will keep interest rates super-low to boost the U.S. economy even after the job market has improved significantly. The Fed says it plans to keep its key short-term rate near zero at least until the unemployment rate drops below 6.5 percent â¿¿ as long as expected inflation is tame. For the first time, the Fed is making clear to investors and consumers that it will link its actions to specific economic markers. By Economics Writer Marty Crutsinger.

AP photo

With:

â¿¿ BERNANKE-NEWS CONFERENCE â¿¿ Bernanke says fiscal cliff standoff hurting economy, but Fed expects a resolution. AP photo.

â¿¿ FED-FORECAST â¿¿ Federal Reserve projects only modest economic growth next year, high unemployment through 2015. AP photo.

â¿¿ FEDERAL RESERVE-COMPARING STATEMENTS â¿¿ A comparison of the Federal Reserve's statements from its two-day meeting that ended Wednesday and its meeting on Oct. 23-24.

â¿¿ FEDERAL RESERVE-TIMELINE â¿¿ Key Federal Reserve actions to aid economy since financial crisis erupted in 2008.

FISCAL CLIFF-ECONOMY

WASHINGTON â¿¿ It's the scenario that's been spooking employers and investors and slowing the U.S. economy: Congress and the White House fail to strike a budget deal by New Year's Day. Their stalemate triggers sharp tax increases and spending cuts. Those measures shrink consumer spending, stifle job growth, topple stock prices and push the economy off a "fiscal cliff" and into recession. The reality may be a lot less bleak. Even if New Year's passed with no deal, few businesses or consumers would likely panic as long as an agreement seemed likely soon. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.

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