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BUSINESS TODAY

1999 NEW HOME SALES A RECORD: The Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes rose 4.5 percent in December, helping to boost the total for the year to an all-time high. Americans purchased new single-family homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 900,000 in December, aided by better-than-normal weather. For all of 1999, new-home sales rose 2 percent to a record 904,000, surpassing the previous record of 886,000 in 1998.

TROPICANA RAIL FLEET TO GROW: Tropicana Products Inc. is expanding its fleet of refrigerated rail cars, which delivers chilled juice to distribution sites in New Jersey and Ohio. The Bradenton company, a subsidiary of Pepsi, has signed a deal to get 135 new rail cars, which will bring its fleet to more than 400. Each car has the capacity to carry 20,000 gallons of packaged juice. With chilled juice growing in popularity, the trains have allowed Tropicana to expand its transportation options beyond trucks.

CARNIVAL, STAR TEAM UP FOR NCL B

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