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Former Democratic fundraiser gets 12 years for bank fraud

A wealthy Manhattan investment banker and former top Democratic fundraiser was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison for defrauding banks of $292 million, some of which he donated to politicians, including Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore. Hassan Nemazee, 60, had reached a plea deal in March, admitting he cheated banks out of the money and pleading guilty to three counts of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud.

Goldman Sachs settlement offer gives stock market a lift

Investors gave the stock market a big last-hour turnaround Thursday on just the anticipation of Goldman Sachs settling the government's civil fraud charges. A series of disappointing economic reports had sent the Dow Jones industrial average down nearly 100 points in late trading. The Dow scrambled back to a loss of just 7 by the close. The index fell 7.41, or 0.07 percent, to 10,359.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 1.31, or 0.1 percent, to 1,096.48, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 0.76, or 0.03 percent, to 2,249.08.

Firm: Domestic auto brands surpass imports in appeal

For the first time since 1997, domestic auto brands have collectively surpassed imports in vehicle appeal, auto research company J.D. Power and Associates said Thursday. Fancy luxury autos from overseas still have an edge, but among mass market vehicles, the domestic automakers are the top dogs, the research firm said yesterday. Among luxury makes, Porsche, Jaguar and BMW logged the highest scores. Among mass market brands, Buick, Volkswagen and Ford scored the best.

Report shows factory output fell 0.4 percent in June

New evidence of a slowing economic rebound emerged Thursday in reports that manufacturing activity is slowing after helping drive the early stages of the recovery. The government reported that factory output - the largest component of industrial production - fell 0.4 percent in June, the sharpest monthly drop in a year. Separately, the Labor Department said wholesale prices fell for a third straight month, pulled down by a drop in energy costs and the biggest plunge in food costs in eight years.From staff and wire reports


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