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TheStreet Open House

Business Highlights

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Retailers report strong January sales

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Sometimes, the devil is in the deals.

Americans shopped the winter clearance racks in January, resulting in strong sales during the month for retailers. But spending is expected to slow as the deals dry up, and as Americans contend with rising gas prices and a 2 percent payroll tax hike that started in January.

Overall, 20 retailers reported on Thursday that revenue at stores opened at least a year â¿¿ an indicator of a store's health â¿¿ rose an average of 5.1 percent, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. That's above the trade group's 3 percent estimate. It also marks the highest reading since last August when the figure was up 6 percent.

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Poor in cages show dark side of Hong Kong boom

HONG KONG (AP) â¿¿ For many of the richest people in Hong Kong, one of Asia's wealthiest cities, home is a mansion with an expansive view from the heights of Victoria Peak. For some of the poorest, like Leung Cho-yin, home is a metal cage.

The 67-year-old former butcher pays 1,300 Hong Kong dollars ($167) a month for one of about a dozen wire mesh cages resembling rabbit hutches crammed into a dilapidated apartment in a gritty, working-class West Kowloon neighborhood.

The cages, stacked on top of each other, measure 1.5 square meters (16 square feet). To keep bedbugs away, Leung and his roommates put thin pads, bamboo mats, even old linoleum on their cages' wooden planks instead of mattresses.

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Humbled Toyota rolls out new Tundra pickup

DETROIT (AP) â¿¿ Back in 2007, Toyota trumpeted its bulked-up Tundra as a game-changer that would cut into Detroit's dominance of the U.S. pickup truck market.

"The truck that's changing it all," was the tagline from an ad that featured the beefy Tundra pulling a 10,000-pound trailer up a steep ramp.

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