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Business

  • Dollar Tree buying rival Family Dollar
    Dollar store chains are duking it out.Dollar Tree Inc. said Monday that it is buying rival Family Dollar Stores Inc. for $8.
  • Earnings off at Franklin Electric Co.
    Franklin Electric Co. on Monday reported second-quarter earnings of $27.1 million, or 55 cents per diluted share, a 4 percent decline from the $28.
  • Profits drop no growth barrier
    Old National Bancorp is continuing its acquisition spree even as it reports second-quarter profit that was one-third less than last year’s comparable period.
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U.S. economic indicators show gains

WASHINGTON – A measure of the U.S. economy designed to signal future activity increased in December from November, suggesting growth may strengthen in 2013.

The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading indicators rose 0.5 percent in December, the best showing since September.

In November, the index was unchanged. The gauge is designed to anticipate economic conditions three to six months out.

A decline in applications for unemployment benefits, gains on Wall Street and increases in applications for building permits drove the index higher in December.

Standard & Poor’s 500 index traded above 1,500 Thursday morning, this was the first time since December 2007.

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