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AUTOMAKERS IN U.S. HIT ANOTHER NEW LOW POINT

DETROIT

The Big Three's share of the U.S. market dropped below 50 percent in July for the first time in history, according to an analyst who tracks industry numbers. Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for the Edmunds.com automotive Web site, said that with 95 percent of the manufacturers reporting data, the market share controlled by Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. fell to 49.7 percent for the month.

CLEARWATER

New bank will open in Pinellas

Bank of Florida-Tampa Bay will open its first Pinellas County office this month in the Countryside area of Clearwater. Charles Tipton will be market president. Based in Naples, the parent Bank of Florida Corp. now has $1.3-billion in assets, including $161-million in the Tampa Bay bank.

NEW YORK

Wobbly markets rebound late

Wall Street shot higher in a last-minute advance Wednesday after careening through a session made turbulent by ongoing concerns about U.S. home loans and the credit market. Stocks zigzagged for much of the session, with the Dow Jones industrials continually moving from positive to negative territory and back again before rallying to a gain of 150 points on bargain hunting during the last 20 minutes of trading.

Manufacturing grows, but slowly

While the U.S. manufacturing sector grew for the sixth consecutive month in July, expansion was the slowest since March, a survey said Wednesday. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index, which reflects the opinions of U.S. purchasing managers at factories, plants and utilities, registered 53.8 in July, down from 56.0 in June. A survey reading above 50 indicates growth.

Oil slips back from record high price

Oil prices retreated jumping to a record Wednesday after on the government's report of a steep drop in crude inventories and surge in refinery activity. Crude prices initially rose after the Energy Department reported that oil inventories fell by 6.5-million barrels last week, far more than expected. But gas futures fell on word that refiners quickly ramped up their operations.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS

American Airlines flying Internet

American Airlines said it will be the first U.S. carrier to try out AirCell LLC's in-flight high-speed Internet service, as airlines seek ways to make money beyond fares and to offer customers more conveniences. Passengers on U.S. routes will be able to test the service next year on 15 Boeing Co. 767-200 aircraft, said Charley Wilson, a spokesman for American parent AMR Corp. The airline wouldn't disclose how much it will charge travelers for the service.

SAN FRANCISCO

Schwab adjusts offer for buyback

Charles Schwab Corp. will pay $20.50 per share to buy back about 102-million shares of its stock, distributing some of the proceeds from the stock brokerage's recently completed sale of its wealth management subsidiary.

Times wires

HOME DEPOT FIRE FOUR OVER KICKBACKS

Home Depot Inc., the world's biggest home-improvement retailer, fired four purchasing managers in Georgia for taking bribes from vendors.

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