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Stocks Fall as Traders Worry Over Weekend

A growing belief that the U.S. economy may be headed toward recession gave the stock market its fourth straight week of losses.

The anxiety in the market was obvious Friday as the major indexes went from moderate gains early in the day to another sharp loss. The Dow Jones industrial average had its 10th move of more than 100 points in 15 trading days this month.

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Japan Ready to Act Over Yen's Historic Rise

Japan is ready to take action against a further surge in the yen, including market intervention, after the safe-haven Japanese currency hit a post-war record high, local media reported on Saturday.

The government and the Bank of Japan have started discussions over fresh intervention to sell yen and buy dollars on the foreign exchange market, the Nikkei business daily reported.

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Oil Prices Slide Further

Oil prices fell sharply for a second day running on Friday, mirroring the situation across world stock markets, as fears of a new global recession risks reducing demand for energy, traders said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for delivery in September, dived $2.40 to $79.98 a barrel.

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World Stocks Sink on Fresh Fears of U.S. Recession

World stock markets plummeted Friday amid signs of a possible U.S. recession and renewed worries over the health of Europe's banks.

Oil prices fell to near $79 a barrel in Asia, extending a major sell-off fueled by investor fears that slowing global growth will undermine demand for crude. The dollar was higher against the euro but down against the yen.

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Higher Prices during the Big Trend for Back-to-School in U.S.

Stores are trying everything they can think of to disguise the fact that you're going to pay more for clothes this fall.

Some are using less fabric and calling it the new look. Others are adding cheap stitching and trumpeting it as a redesign. And the buttons on that blouse? Chances are you're not going to think it's worth paying several dollars more for the shirt just to have them.

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Report: Bank of America to Cut 3,500 Jobs

Bank of America will cut 3,500 jobs this quarter as part of a wider restructuring that could lead to the loss of thousands more jobs, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The 3,500 jobs to be slashed will come from all sections of the country's biggest bank by assets, and are to be eliminated by the end of September, the newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

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Oil Prices Slide on Weak Demand Fears

World oil prices sank Thursday, in line with plunging global stock markets, with weak energy demand further threatened by a possible return to recession.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for delivery in September, shed $1.39 to $86.19 a barrel.

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Brazil Probes Zara Supplier over Forced Labor

Brazilian authorities are investigating claims that a supplier for Spanish clothing brand Zara is forcing workers to toil in inhumane conditions, a labor ministry spokesman told Agence France Presse Wednesday.

The probe that began in May focuses on unsanitary conditions and long working hours endured by workers -- some of them undocumented Bolivians -- in factories in the city of Americana, an industrial town outside Sao Paulo.

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Economic Fears Hit Stocks Again

Downbeat Japanese export and British retail sales figures renewed worries over the state of the global economy on Thursday and hit already fragile confidence in stock markets.

Investors are worried about both the debt situation in both the U.S. and Europe and the pace of the global economic recovery following a run of weak economic data.

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Pope Demands Greater Ethics in Economic Policy

Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality he says is behind Europe's current economic crisis. The pontiff insisted that morals and ethics must play a greater role in formulating economic policy in the future.

"Man must be at the center of the economy and the economy must not be measured only by the maximization of profit but according to the common good," the pontiff told reporters aboard his plane as he traveled to Madrid for the Catholic Church's World Youth Day.

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