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AMERICAN SHARES DROP: Standard & Poors will remove American Airlines parent AMR Corp. from its index of 500 large companies as investors sold the airline's stock to a 52-week low Tuesday amid reports the carrier is arranging bankruptcy financing. AMR will be dropped Thursday because of the steep fall in its stock price and market capitalization, S&P said. It will be replaced by Apartment Investment Management Co., a Denver-based real estate firm. It will be replaced by Apartment Investment Management Co. AMR shares plunged 34 percent, or 82 cents, to close at $1.59 Tuesday as investors reacted to reports that the carrier is exploring bankruptcy protection.

GE HANDS OUT BONUS: General Electric Co. paid chairman and chief executive Jeff Immelt a $3-million base salary and a $3.9-million bonus last year, his first full year as the company's top officer. Immelt will also receive about $6.7-million under a long-term performance incentive award program, which he will take in GE stock to be held as long as he is chairman, according to the company's proxy statement. Immelt handed investors the smallest gain in net income since 1993.

SPIEGEL WARNS BANKRUPTCY POSSIBLE: Spiegel Inc. said it will be forced to file for bankruptcy soon unless new financing emerges. The parent of Eddie Bauer, Newport News and the Spiegel Catalog also said its private-label credit cards are no longer being accepted at its merchant businesses. .

TREASURY AUCTION: The interest rate on the U.S. Treasury's four-week bills fell to a record low at the government's weekly auction of the securities. The Treasury sold $22-billion of the bills at a discount rate of 1.12 percent, down from 1.19 percent last week and the lowest since the government introduced the securities July 31, 2001. The return to investors was 1.138 percent for the bills. The government received bids for the bills equal to 2.24 times the amount sold, up from 1.95 at the last auction. Treasury bills, which represent short-term government borrowing, are sold at a discount from maturity value. The amount paid to investors at maturity reflects the difference between the price paid and the par value.