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Business briefs

LONG ISLAND

Cleaners to lose Target jobs

Thirty-three maintenance workers on Long Island will lose their jobs because their employer's contract with Target wasn't renewed, according to a notice filed with the state Department of Labor. The company, Prestige Maintenance USA, employed the workers to clean various Target stores on the Island. In a WARN notice filed last week, the company cited the loss of the contract as the reason for the layoffs. Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, companies have to file at least a 90-day notice ahead of a mass layoff or a closing. Prestige, which is based in Texas, didn't specify when the layoffs would begin but said the contract transition to the new maintenance company would happen "sometime in October." Neither Prestige nor Target returned phone calls seeking comment.

NATION

Wall Street wobbles

Leave it to the economy to stop a stock market rally. The Dow started yesterday up nearly 140 points after President Barack Obama and congressional leaders said Sunday that a deal had been reached to raise the nation's borrowing limit and avoid a possible debt default. But an Institute for Supply Management report that the U.S. manufacturing sector grew at the slowest pace in two years in July erased those gains and took the Dow Jones industrial average down 145 points by midday. The Dow ended the day down 10.75 points, .09 percent, to 12,132.49. It was the seventh day of declines for the blue-chip index. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 5.34, or .41 percent, to 1,286.94. The Nasdaq composite fell 11.77, or .43 percent, to 2,744.61. -- AP

Ford pickup recall cites fires

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million pickup trucks because the gas tanks can fall off and cause fires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday on its website that the metal straps holding the tanks can rust, allowing them to fall, rupture and catch fire. The defect has been blamed for eight fires, three of which spread to the rest of the truck. One person was injured, suffering first- and second-degree burns, Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood said. The recall affects certain 1997 through 2004 Ford F-150 models, as well as some 1997 through 1999 model year F-250 pickups. Also affected are Lincoln Blackwood pickups from the 2002 and 2003 model years. They were sold in cold-weather states where salt is used to clear roads. The salt corroded straps holding the tanks and they broke, NHTSA said. Sherwood said the company will notify owners in September to bring their trucks to dealers who will replace the straps with new ones that are coated to resist corrosion. Parts to fix the problem, he said, won't be widely available until then. -- AP

INTERNATIONAL

HSBC to cut 30,000 jobs

British banking group HSBC said Monday it will cut 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 and sell almost half its retail bank branches in the United States, part of a new strategy to focus on fast-growing emerging markets. The bank, which reported a better-than-expected 3 percent increase in pretax profits to $11.5 billion in the six months to June, has already shed 5,000 jobs this year. Another 25,000 will be cut by 2013, spokesman Patrick Humphris said. HSBC currently employs about 296,000 people worldwide. Humphris declined to give details of where the job cuts would be but said the group is still hiring in emerging economies such as Brazil and Mexico. The bank is still dealing with the legacy of bad loans in the United States from the 2003 acquisition of consumer lender Household International Inc. The acquisition made HSBC the biggest subprime lender in the United States, which resulted in billions of losses to HSBC leading up to the financial crisis of 2008. -- AP

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