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Gov't probes whether some stood pat during May 6 free fall

Federal regulators said Monday that they are looking at whether big trading firms abandoned the market during the massive sell-off May 6 rather than provide cash support required under law. Major securities firms are required by law to remain in the market by buying and selling stocks; high-speed electronic trading firms are not. Some firms that act as liquidity providers stopped doing so during the free fall, according to Securities and Exchange Commission officials.


March 2010 gasoline demand down compared to March '09

Although gasoline prices are dropping ahead of the Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer driving season, there's no sign motorists are rushing back to the pump to top off their tanks. Data released Monday by the Federal Highway Administration show the number of miles driven on U.S. roads rose in March compared with February, but still was below March 2009, in the depths of the recession. Demand is 4 percent below 2007 levels, according to the MasterCard data, which tallies total gas sales paid by credit card, checks and cash. Retail gasoline prices fell again yesterday as this month's big drop in oil prices continues to work its way to the pump.


Struggling Yahoo joins forces with Nokia and Match.com

Nokia Corp. will run mapping and navigation services for Yahoo Inc. in an acknowledgment that the slumping Internet company hasn't kept up with rival Google Inc. in the increasingly important area of location services. Yahoo will, in turn, provide e-mail and instant messaging services on Nokia phones, as part of the worldwide partnership announced Monday. Yahoo also announced Monday that it will drop its Yahoo Personals brand for its dating service and partner with Match.com.


Deal creates largest provider of home health, hospice care

Home health provider Gentiva Health Services Inc. said Monday that it plans to spend nearly $1 billion in cash to buy hospice firm Odyssey HealthCare Inc. in a move to create the nation's largest provider of home health and hospice care. Atlanta-based Gentiva said it will pay $27 per share for Odyssey stock, marking a 40 percent premium to the shares' closing price Friday. Shares of Dallas-based Odyssey surged $7.46, or 38.7 percent, to close at $26.75 Monday. Shares last traded above $26 in 2004. Gentiva shares rose $3.38, or 13.1 percent, to $29.17.

From combined news services

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