Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Fed says US economy has slowed, takes no new steps

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is losing strength and repeated a pledge to take further steps to boost growth if hiring remains weak.

The Fed took no new action after a two-day policy meeting. But it acknowledged in a statement released after the meeting that economic activity had slowed over the first half of the year, with job creation remaining sluggish and consumer spending tapering off.

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The Fed reiterated its plan to hold short-term interest rates, now near zero, at very low levels until at least late 2014.

Glitch causes big swings in some stocks

A technical glitch at a major processor of stock trades caused wild swings in a number of stocks.

Some stocks moved dramatically shortly after the opening of trading on Wednesday. Wizzard Software, which closed Tuesday night at $3.50, shot above $14 in the first minutes of trading, according to data compiled by FactSet.

The glitch occurred at Knight Capital, one of the largest processors of stock trades. The company said in a statement that a "technology issue" had occurred in its market-making unit related to the routing of shares of about 150 stocks to the New York Stock Exchange.

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Americans re-embrace Japanese cars, lifting sales

DETROIT (AP) â¿¿ Just when Detroit seemed to be luring them away, Americans are embracing Japanese cars again.

Toyota and Honda lost ground last year after the Japanese earthquake limited their supplies. But July's U.S. sales show they've nearly regained what they lost, at the expense of GM and Ford.

GM sales fell 6 percent and Ford sales were down 4 percent compared with last July. Honda's sales were up 45 percent and Toyota jumped 26 percent. Overall car and truck sales rose 9 percent to 1.15 million, according to Autodata Corp.

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