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Associated Press

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Updated Thursday, May 3 at 4:01 PM

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Facebook sets $28 to $35 price range for IPO

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook has set a price range of $28 to $35 for its initial public offering of stock.

At the high end, this could raise as much as $11.8 billion. If the underwriters sell the extra stock reserved for overallotments, the IPO will value Facebook at $79.3 billion at the high end of the price range.

That's much higher than any other Internet IPO in the past, even Google Inc. in 2004, which raised $1.9 billion. The range came in a regulatory filing Thursday.

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Yahoo investor says CEO lied about tech degree

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A major Yahoo shareholder is accusing the Internet company's CEO of lying about his technology credentials to make himself appear more qualified for the job.

Activist hedge fund Daniel Loeb says he has discovered that Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson doesn't have a bachelor's degree in computer science from Stonehill College near Boston as the company states in regulatory documents filed last week. He made the allegation in a letter on Thursday to Yahoo's board of directors.

Yahoo Inc. confirmed Loeb's findings, but the company attributed the misinformation to an "inadvertent error."

Loeb is leading a campaign to shake up Yahoo's board so he can help come up with a strategy to boost the company's long-slumping stock price. He controls a 5.8 percent stake in Yahoo through Third Point LLC.

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AP survey: Steady job gains to sustain US recovery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring through the rest of 2012 will lag the brisk pace set early this year. But it will be strong enough to push the unemployment rate below 8 percent by Election Day.

That's the view that emerges from an Associated Press survey of 32 leading economists who foresee a gradually brighter jobs picture. Despite higher gas prices, Europe's debt crisis and a weak housing market, they think the economy has entered a "virtuous cycle" in which hiring boosts consumer spending, which fuels more hiring and spending.

The survey results come before a report Friday on hiring during April. The April report is eagerly awaited because employers added surprisingly few jobs in March. That result contributed to fears that the economy might struggle to sustain its recovery.

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Investors say Berkshire will endure after Buffett

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Berkshire Hathaway shareholders make their annual pilgrimage here this weekend, and this year they have to confront an uncomfortable truth: Warren Buffett, Berkshire's CEO and the greatest celebrity in investing, can't go on forever.

Investors would rather not imagine life without the Oracle of Omaha, who is 81 and said last month that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. And he has no plans to leave the post soon.

When the day comes, people who have studied the company say, Berkshire without Buffett will probably look a lot like Berkshire with Buffett.

Berkshire, which owns 80 subsidiaries that range from a railroad to an upscale kitchen products company, is already decentralized: Of its 270,000 employees, just 24 work at Omaha headquarters.

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North America boosts GM's first-quarter results

DETROIT (AP) — Strong sales in North America and China are generating big profits for General Motors. Now the company needs the rest of the world to play along.

GM's net income totaled $1 billion in the first quarter as it sold more vehicles at higher prices in the U.S. But the earnings fell 69 percent from a year earlier. The reasons: Big one-time charges and high operating costs in Europe, and lackluster earnings in South America.

For GM to continue its rebound from bankruptcy three years ago, it needs Europe and South America to improve, especially if North American sales slow.

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Samsung reveals new flagship Galaxy smartphone

NEW YORK (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co.'s latest Galaxy phone will have a high-definition touch screen that's nearly twice the size of the iPhone, while being thinner and lighter than Apple's phone.

The Galaxy line has emerged as the biggest competitor to the iPhone. Samsung said the Galaxy S III will go on sale in Europe on May 29 and in the U.S. this summer. The Korean company showed off the phone Thursday at an event in London.

Like previous Galaxy phones, the S III will run Google Inc.'s Android software. The processor, or "brains" of the device, will be upgraded to include four computing cores. The iPhone and most other high-end phones are "dual-core," but there are some quad-core devices on sale already.

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Pepsi brings back Michael Jackson in promotion

NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo Inc. is going on a reunion tour with The King of Pop.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company on Thursday announced its deal with the estate of Michael Jackson to use the late pop star's image for its new global marketing push. The nature of the promotion will vary by country, but will include special edition cans bearing Jackson's image, a TV ad in some markets and chances to download remixes of some of Jackson's most famous songs.

Pepsi, which first partnered with Jackson in 1983, did not disclose the terms of its deal with the singer's estate.

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April retail sales worst since 2009

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans' spending — much like the economy — continues to yo-yo.

Major retailers such as Costco and Macy's reported on Thursday that April revenue rose less that 1 percent in the worst performance since 2009 when the U.S. economy was just coming out of a bad recession.

The disappointing results follow two consecutive months of strong sales that were boosted by positive economic news about the job and housing markets.

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US rate on 30-year mortgage hits record 3.84 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages fell to fresh record lows this week, offering more incentive for Americans to buy or refinance homes.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.84 percent, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s. That's below the previous record rate of 3.87 percent reached in February.

The 15-year mortgage, a popular option for refinancing, dropped to 3.07 percent, also a record. The previous record of 3.11 percent was hit three weeks ago.

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Freddie asks for $19 million in aid after 1Q loss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government-controlled mortgage giant Freddie Mac is requesting $19 million in additional federal aid after posting a loss for the first quarter of this year.

The requested amount is less than the $146 million that Freddie received from the government for the fourth quarter of 2011. The company received $7.6 billion for all of 2011 and $13 billion for all of 2010.

McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac said Thursday that its net loss attributable to common stockholders was $1.2 billion, or 38 cents a share, in the January-March period. That compares with a net loss of $929 million, or 29 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2011.

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McDonald's new menu star: Limited time offers

NEW YORK (AP) — The newest stars on the McDonald's menu won't be around for long.

The world's biggest hamburger chain is rolling out two menu items that will be available only during the summer months. A seasonal blueberry banana nut oatmeal will be available nationwide by mid-month, and an iced drink called the Cherry Berry Chiller is already available everywhere.

In the years ahead, McDonald's is expected to ramp up its pipeline of limited-time offers — which are available for only a few months at a time — to keep customers flocking to its restaurants.

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By The Associated Press(equals)

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 61.98 points, or 0.5 percent, to 13,206.59. The S&P 500 dropped 10.74, or 0.8 percent, to 1,391.57. The Nasdaq composite average slid 35.55, or 1.2 percent, to 3,024.30

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $2.68, or 2.5 percent, to $102.54 per barrel. Brent crude, which helps set the price for oil imported into the U.S., lost $2.12 to $116.08 per barrel in London.

The price of natural gas futures added 8.7 cents to end the day at $2.34 per 1,000 cubic feet in New York.

In other futures trading, heating oil gave up 5.56 cents to finish at $3.0869 per gallon while wholesale gasoline lost 2.57 cents to end at $3.05 per gallon.

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