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FILE: US Capitol Building
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Unemployment Benefits Bill Clears Hurdle

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed has cleared an initial Senate hurdle, but the bill's fate remains in doubt.

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Janet Yellen
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Yellen Faces Challenges as Fed Trims Bond Buys

WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen will take the helm of a Federal Reserve facing a significantly different economic landscape than the one that dominated Ben Bernanke's tenure as chairman.

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Housing Sales Decline As Market Cools

Mortgage Rates Rise Slightly – Average US Rate on 30-year Loan at 4.53 pct.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages edged higher this week for the third straight week but remained low by historical standards.

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Manufacturing (FILE)

Manufacturing Expands at Solid Pace in December, Construction Rises

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. manufacturing grew at a healthy pace in December as factories stepped up hiring and received more orders. The expansion suggests solid growth at the end of the year.

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Weekly Unemployment Benefit Claims Fall to 339K

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dipped 2,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, evidence that layoffs are low and hiring will likely remain steady.

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Economic Survey Suggests Optimism for Midwest

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly economic report suggests supply managers surveyed in nine Midwestern and Plains states are optimistic about the regional economy over the next six months.

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Oil Pumps, Oil Field
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Oil Price Falls Below $98 as Dollar Strengthens

The price of oil fell below $98 a barrel Thursday amid reduced trading volumes and the impact of a strengthening dollar.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for February delivery was down 72 cents to $97

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US Consumer Spending Up in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending in November by the most in five months, and their income edged up modestly.

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FILE: Soldiers, Army
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Lawmakers Say New Defense Bill Helps Protect South Dakota

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Dakota lawmakers say a comprehensive, nearly $633 billion defense bill will help protect the state's interests.

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US Records $135.2 Billion November Deficit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government ran a much smaller deficit through the first two months of the budget year than last year, signaling further improvement in the nation's finances.

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