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BRIEFLY

AT&T TO LOWER FLORIDA RATES: AT&T Corp. lowered its in-state long-distance rates in Florida by 30 percent to help retain customers. AT&T will introduce calling plans in Florida that lower the per-minute charge for long-distance calls within the state to 7 cents from 10 cents, the company said. A spokesman said the lower rates are an attempt to keep customers as competition increases from regional local-phone companies and consumers rely more on e-mail and wireless phones to communicate.

ABN AMRO CLOSING UNIT: ABN Amro Holding NV will shut its unprofitable U.S. mergers and equities businesses, firing 550 employees, as the largest Dutch bank reverses a failed strategy to get into the world's largest capital market. The move will reduce the firm's U.S. corporate and investment-banking staff by 18 percent and slash earnings by 205-million euros ($180-million). ABN Amro expanded its U.S. securities business less than a year ago by purchasing a New York unit of Dutch rival ING Groep NV for $275-million.

TREASURY AUCTION: Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities were mixed in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department sold $12-billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.82 percent, down from 1.84 percent last week. An additional $12-billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 2.11 percent, up from 2.07 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors: 1.854 percent for three-month bills and 2.163 percent for a six-month bill. In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year constant maturity Treasury bills rose to 2.66 percent last week from 2.58 percent the previous week.

Earnings Walgreen Co.

The drugstore chain benefited from increased pharmacy sales during the fiscal quarter ended Feb. 28. Prescription drug sales, which accounted for 56 percent of revenues, rose 21 percent. Walgreen is headquartered in Deerfield, Ill.

2ndQtr Year Ago

Revenue $7.49-bil $6.43-bil

Net Income $326.6-mil $296.9-mil

Per Share 32 cents 29 cents

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