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AP Top Business News At 1:34 p.m. EDT

Financial markets watching for 2 words as clues to Fed's intentions on rates
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Financial markets are awaiting the end of a Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday to see whether the Fed sends any clearer signal about the timing of an interest rate increase....

US stocks nudge mostly higher in afternoon trading ahead of Fed statement on rates
NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stocks edged mostly higher in afternoon trading Wednesday as investors waited for a Federal Reserve statement on interest rates following a two-day meeting. Stocks of home builders jumped after a rise in confidence in the new home market....

Confidence among US homebuilders surges to nearly 9-year high on stronger sales outlook
U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the market for new, single-family homes surged this month to the highest level in nearly nine years....

US consumer prices fall 0.2 percent in August, first drop in 16 months, as energy costs dip
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer prices edged down in August, the first monthly drop since the spring of 2013, as gasoline, airline tickets and clothing prices all fell. It was the latest evidence that inflation remains under control....

5 things small business owners need to be on top of include health care, Internet security
NEW YORK (AP) -- What do small business owners need to pay attention to this fall? Heath care, Internet Security and new technology make the list. Here are five things that small businesses need to be on top of over the next several months:...

FedEx 1Q profit, sales top expectations; company will hire 50,000 seasonal workers
DALLAS (AP) -- Growth in online shopping is boosting profit at FedEx, and the company plans to hire more than 50,000 extra workers to handle what is shaping up as another record year for holiday-season package deliveries....

Alibaba post-IPO `partnership' structure helps founder, insiders retain control
BEIJING (AP) -- Control over Alibaba Group will stay in the hands of founder Jack Ma and other company veterans after the Chinese e-commerce giant goes public on the New York Stock Exchange in a record busting share sale....

Major sponsors join chorus of disapproval over NFL but stop short of pulling ads
Major sponsors including Anheuser-Busch are adding to the chorus of disapproval over the National Football League's recent scandals, but the companies are stopping short of pulling advertising....

Family Dollar board recommends shareholders reject Dollar General's tender offer
MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) -- Family Dollar has told shareholders to reject an unsolicited, $9.1 billion takeover bid from its rival, Dollar General....

Sony forecasts loss of $2.1 billion, cancels dividend after cutting value of mobile business
TOKYO (AP) -- Sony expects its annual loss to swell to $2 billion and has canceled dividends for the first time in more than half a century after writing down the value of its troubled smartphone business....

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Up to the Minute
US stocks nudge mostly higher in afternoon trading ahead of Fed statement on rates

FedEx 1Q profit, sales top expectations; company will hire 50,000 seasonal workers

Investors agree to pay to lend money to Germany in auction of two-year government debt

5 things small business owners need to be on top of include health care, Internet security

Drugstores, retailers dive deeper into flu shots, other vaccines

Kohl's plans to hire more than 67,000 workers nationwide for holiday 2014 season

Pizza Hut testing 'skinny slice' pizza to lure calorie counters amid sales slump

Stocks rise at midday ahead of Fed announcement on the economy and interest rates

Confidence among US homebuilders surges to nearly 9-year high on stronger sales outlook

Civitas Solutions shares move lower after IPO prices below expectations at $199M


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