HP fired back with a statement that predicted its findings of misconduct will be proven in anticipated legal proceedings about the dispute.

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ShopperTrak: Stores have a solid start to holidays

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ A firm that analyzes customer traffic says stores saw a solid increase in sales for the four-day start to the holiday season, as heavy Thanksgiving shopping offset a drop in Black Friday sales.

Chicago-based-ShopperTrak said late Tuesday that foot traffic was up 8.2 percent for the four-day weekend, starting with Thanksgiving, while total sales rose 2.7 percent to $22 billion, compared with the same period a year ago. The sales pace is higher than the 1.7 percent seen last year.

This year retailers had their earliest start ever to the holiday shopping season, as major stores including Target Corp. and Sears opened on Thanksgiving evening.

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Greek bankruptcy averted â¿¿ for now

ATHENS, Greece (AP) ⿿ European and global financial leaders have agreed to release ⿬44 billion ($57 billion) in critical loans to Greece and provide billions in additional debt relief in order to help the country stabilize its ailing economy.

After three weeks of negotiations, Greece's euro partners and the International Monetary Fund agreed early Tuesday morning to release the loans in four installments beginning next month. The leaders also settled on a raft of measures ⿿ including a debt buyback program and an interest rate cut on loans ⿿ that will reduce the country's debts by about ⿬40 billion.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras hailed the agreement in Brussels as a victory.

But the country will still face years of economic pain as austerity measures agreed to as part of the bailout package are implemented.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 89.24 points to 12,878.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 lost 7.35 points to 1,398.94 and the Nasdaq composite index lost 8.99 points to 2,967.79.

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