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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Sears considering spinning off Lands' End

NEW YORK (AP) a¿¿ It's like watching an old friend slowly fall apart.

Sears was once the place where families could go for an afternoon of one-stop shopping for everything from clothing to appliances to car parts. But it has struggled in recent years amid declining sales and stiff competition.

Now, Sears, which runs 2,500 Kmart and Sears stores, is considering separating its Lands' End catalog business and Sears Auto Center businesses from the rest of the company. The retailer also plans to continue closing some of its unprofitable stores and is selling some store leases in Canada.

The announcements came Tuesday as Sears warned that it expects a loss of $582 million in the third quarter on another drop in sales. The company said that for the 12 weeks that ended Saturday its sales at stores open at least a year fell 3.7 percent.

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AP source: Stumbling block cited in JPMorgan talks

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ Negotiations between the Justice Department and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have hit a stumbling block that has put the talks at risk, a person briefed on the discussions said Tuesday.

A week and a half ago, JPMorgan tentatively agreed to pay $13 billion to settle allegations surrounding the low quality of mortgage-backed securities it sold in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

One of the unresolved issues in the talks: JPMorgan says it should be able to seek money from a receivership involving Washington Mutual, a failed savings and loan that JPMorgan purchased in 2008, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak by name about the matter.

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Health policy cancellations: New blow for administration

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ Move over, website woes. Lawmakers confronted the Obama administration Tuesday with a difficult new health care problem a¿¿ a wave of cancellation notices hitting individuals and small business who buy their own insurance.

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