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BRIEFS: Buyout for Dell approved

Dell Inc. will end its quarter-century history as a publicly traded company and try to engineer a turnaround away from the prying eyes of Wall Street following shareholders’ approval Thursday of a $24.8 billion buyout offer from the company’s founder.

At the end of a shareholders meeting Thursday, Dell officials said that based on preliminary results, there were enough votes in favor of CEO Michael Dell’s buyout proposal. The company did not immediately announce the tally.

“This is a great outcome for our customers and our company,” Dell said in a conference call with investors.

Twitter tweets that it will go public

Twitter is going public. The short-messaging service aptly tweeted Thursday it has filed confidential documents for an initial public offering of stock.

But the documents are sealed, as San Francisco-based Twitter is taking advantage of federal legislation passed last year that allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year to avoid submitting public IPO documents.

Twitter’s IPO has been long expected. The company has been ramping up its advertising products and working to boost ad revenue in preparation.

Fewer US homes in foreclosure track

Lenders initiated foreclosure action in August against the fewest U.S. homes for any month in nearly eight years, a trend that should help reduce the number of homes lost to foreclosure in the months ahead.

Some 55,775 homes entered the foreclosure process last month, a decline of 8 percent from July and down 44 percent from August last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

The national slowdown in foreclosure starts reflects an improving housing market, steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the pre-housing bubble days.

Bankruptcy plan OK’d for American

A federal judge has approved American Airlines’ plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection and merge with US Airways, though the airlines must still resolve a lawsuit filed by the federal government seeking to block the merger. A trial over that lawsuit is scheduled for November.

Thursday’s ruling by federal bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane in New York could restore a sense of momentum for the merger.

Kroger profit rises, lower charges help

Kroger is reporting its fiscal second-quarter net income climbed 14 percent, helped by lower charges as revenue increased.

Kroger Co. earned $317 million, or 60 cents per share, for the quarter, compared with $279 million, or 51 cents per share, last year.

Computer upgrades cut US jobless claims

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plummeted last week 31,000 to a seasonally adjusted 292,000. But the drop was mostly because of technical issues in two states that delayed the processing of applications.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average fell to 321,250, the lowest in six years.

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