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Business briefs

AT&T widens free Wi-Fi in New York, San Francisco

AT&T Inc. is expanding its free wireless-Internet service to more public areas in New York and San Francisco to help relieve its mobile-phone network in two of the most congested U.S. cities. The company will widen the reach of its Wi-Fi service in Times Square following a trial there and is adding so-called hot zones around Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral, according to a statement Tuesday. In the third quarter of 2010, AT&T handled 106.9 million Wi-Fi connections on its network, exceeding the total 85.5 million connections made during the entire year in 2009.

Bethpage staffing company being acquired by Boston firm

The acquisition of Bethpage-based Comforce Corp. by a Boston firm was expected to close yesterday, according to the company. Comforce, a provider of temporary and contract workers, announced in November that private investment firm Abry Partners would purchase it for $84.8 million. About 53.66 percent of stockholders have voted to approve the deal, Comforce announced Monday. They will receive $2.50 per share. Abry Partners is a holding company with dozens of units, including The Dolan Co., publisher of Long Island Business News. Comforce moved to new offices in Bethpage in July.

- Emi Endo

Dow and S&P 500 finish up, Nasdaq down in light trading

Stocks closed barely changed Tuesday amid light trading ahead of the New Year's holiday. The Dow Jones industrial average edged up after Treasury prices fell in the wake of a weak bond auction in the afternoon. The index finished up 20.51 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,575.54, its highest close since August 2008. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 0.97, or less than 0.1 percent, to 1,258.51. The Nasdaq composite index lost 4.39, or 0.2 percent, to 2,662.88.

-From staff and wire reports


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