Business Highlights

The Associated Press

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Claims about flood-damaged cars aren't true

DETROIT (AP) â¿¿ In the days since Superstorm Sandy, an alarming prediction has flashed across the Internet: Hundreds of thousands of flood-damaged vehicles will inundate the nation's used-car market, and buyers might not be told which cars have been affected.

Not true, according to insurance-claims data reviewed by The Associated Press. The actual number of vehicles is far smaller, and some of those cars will be repaired and kept by their owners. The dire predictions are being spread by a company that sells vehicle title and repair histories and by the largest group representing American car dealers.

They claim the number of cars damaged by Sandy could be larger than when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 and damaged more than 600,000 vehicles. But an AP analysis of claims data supplied by major insurance companies shows the number of cars reported damaged so far is a fraction of that.

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Stocks slide on Wall Street, extending sell-off

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Stocks slid on Wall Street Thursday, a day after the Dow Jones industrial average logged its biggest one-day drop of the year, as investors fretted about the potential for gridlock in Washington.

The Dow closed down 121.41 points to 12,811.32, bringing its two-day loss to 434 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index fell 17.02 points to 1,377.51 and the Nasdaq composite slipped 41.70 to 2,895.58.

The Dow plunged 313 points Wednesday, its fifth worst one-day drop following a U.S. presidential election. The biggest, in 2008, came in the midst of the financial crisis on the day after President Barack Obama won his first term.

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McDonald's sales drop for first time since 2003

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ McDonald's Corp. is having a tough time stomaching the competition.

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