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BEYOND TAMPA BAY

Research in Motion has revealed the BlackBerry Pearl Flip, the first BlackBerry that folds in half, a departure from the slablike design that has defined its products. The device will be available from T-Mobile USA and with overseas carriers later this year at an undisclosed price.

Speculation by large investors triggered the surge in oil prices in the first half of the year and recent declines, an independent study by Masters Capital Management concluded. The report said investors poured $60-billion into oil futures during the first five months of the year as oil prices soared from $95 a barrel to $145 a barrel by July. Since then, these investors have withdrawn $39-billion, the report said.

WaMu stock plummets

While the eyes of the financial world have been focused on Lehman Brothers the past couple of days, the share price of Washington Mutual, the country's biggest savings and loan, plunged 98 cents, or nearly 30 percent, to $2.32 Wednesday, signaling that the company's recent executive shakeup may not have been enough to placate anxious investors. Over the weekend, WaMu replaced its chairman of 18 years, Kerry K. Killinger, with Alan H. Fishman, in response to losses stemming from problems related to subprime mortgages and soured credit card loans.

Countrywide Financial Corp. is offering two years of free credit monitoring to customers whose sensitive personal information, including Social Security numbers, allegedly was stolen from the home lender's computers. In one of the largest data-theft cases in years, a former Countrywide employee was arrested Aug. 1 and charged with illegally accessing the company's computers for more than two years.

"Our business has been quite resilient."

ROBERT IGER, Walt Disney Co. CEO, saying the company, including its U.S. and global theme parks, is holding up well under tough economic conditions

$30-million

AMOUNT former United Health Group CEO William McGuire will pay to settlea class-action lawsuit involving back-dated stock options

THE BOTTOM LINE:Fannie Mae sells $7B in two-year notes ... Biotech ImClone Systems gets $70-a-share buyout offer from unnamed pharmaceuticals company ... North Carolina auditor's office says Office Depot overcharged state $300,000 over six months ... Bank of America to buy back $4.5B of auction-rate securities in Massachusetts settlement

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