Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Former Goldman Sachs director convicted in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ A former Goldman Sachs director accused of feeding confidential information to a corrupt hedge fund manager has been convicted of conspiracy and three counts of securities fraud.

A jury acquitted Rajat Gupta on two other securities fraud counts. Gupta's adult daughters hugged and wept as the verdict was read. He showed no visible reaction.

The 63-year-old Gupta â¿¿ born in India, educated at Harvard and well-known in corporate America â¿¿ has been the most prominent defendant prosecuted so far in a wide-ranging probe of alleged insider trading in the hedge fund industry by investigators armed with wiretaps. His trial and one last year for former billionaire Raj Rajaratnam pulled back the curtain on how the two longtime friends and Wall Street titans navigated the turbulent waters of the 2008 economic meltdown.

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Central banks stand ready on eve of Greek vote

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) â¿¿ On the eve of Greek elections, Europe's central bankers hope to avert a financial panic by signaling their readiness to support banks.

At the same time, the head of the European Central Bank is calling on nations to pursue steps that could eventually boost economic growth, such as easing corporate regulations.

For now, the stress gripping Europe in its debt crisis is growing. Governments are struggling to borrow. Banks are wary of lending to each other and their customers. And nervous depositors are pulling money from Greek and Spanish banks.

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US factory production declined 0.4 percent in May

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ U.S. factories produced less in May than in April, as automakers cut back for the first time in six months. The report indicates that manufacturing, a key driver of the economic growth, is slowing.

The Federal Reserve said Friday that factory output declined 0.4 percent last month, after increasing 0.7 percent in April. Auto production fell 1.5 percent, the first drop since November.

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