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AP Top Business News At 12:05 p.m. EST

US home sales hit slowest pace in 6 months in Nov.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer Americans bought homes in November as buying slid to its slowest pace in six months....

US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Cargill aims to sell more corn and soybeans. MasterCard covets another site for Americans to swipe credit cards. Marriott sees beachfront property that needs hotels....

Russia bails out bank following ruble slide
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia has bailed out a mid-sized bank for about $500 million to save it from bankruptcy- a clear sign that the slide in the value of the ruble in the wake of sliding oil prices is straining the banking system....

Stocks mostly higher at midday, extending advance
Major stock indexes edged mostly higher Monday but the gains were held back by discouraging data on U.S. home sales and a deepening slide in oil prices....

Express Scripts turns to AbbVie in huge hepatitis C deal
The nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager is throwing its weight into a fight over the high cost of treating hepatitis C, saying it will cover a new drug from AbbVie while pulling back on more expensive options from rival drugmakers....

FAA, industry launch drone safety campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alarmed by increasing encounters between small drones and manned aircraft, drone industry officials said Monday they are teaming up with the government and model aircraft hobbyists to launch a safety campaign....

Coming soon to US: Cuba Libre, with real Cuban rum
MIAMI (AP) -- U.S. rum aficionados are abuzz over the possibility of mixing a Cuba Libre with authentic Cuban rum, now that they will be able to bring home liquor distilled in the communist nation....

Investors expect higher stocks in 2015, but also turbulence
NEW YORK (AP) -- Can the U.S. hold everyone else above water? That is the question investors are asking as Wall Street heads into 2015....

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground
RIO GRANDE, Nicaragua (AP) -- As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for his land, Ruiz insists, "I'm not going to run."...

Caesar's Entertainment to buy affiliate
NEW YORK (AP) -- Caesar's Entertainment will buy an affiliate as it tries to smooth the reorganization of a struggling division and balance its debt load....

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Up to the Minute
US home sales hit slowest pace in 6 months in Nov.

Investors expect higher stocks in 2015, but also turbulence

Stocks mostly higher at midday, extending advance

Express Scripts turns to AbbVie in huge hepatitis C deal

Stocks mostly higher in morning trading, extending rally

Stocks open mostly higher, extending a rally

Caesar's Entertainment to buy affiliate

US companies eager to embrace Cuba face hurdles

In latest TV spat, Fox News blocked from Dish Network

Falling oil prices worry Algeria