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Deere Gets Charter For Savings Bank

Tractor maker Deere & Co. has obtained permission to operate a federally insured savings bank that will take over the company’s credit card business.<br /><br />The Office of Thrift Supervision announced Thursday its approval for Deere to open the bank, to be named FPC Financial and based in Madison, Wis.

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Marriott’s Cash Register Ringing

Better-than-expected earnings in the second quarter briefly pushed the stock price of Maryland-based Marriott International Inc. yesterday to a 52-week high of $38.88.<br /><br />It settled back to close at $37.75, still a 2.7 percent gain.<br /><br />Earnings per diluted share at the world’s largest lodging company reached 50 cents in the quarter ended June 16, a 19 percent increase over the 42 cents per share recorded in 1999’s second quarter. The 50 cents topped analysts’ consensus estimates of 48 cents per share.

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NEWS SUMMARY

Family Tech CenterBaltimore County officials and the county’s chapter of the NAACP will announce plans this morning for the first “family technology center” in the nation to be sponsored by the civil rights group. The center, which will include a ...

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Botched Up Coupon Deals Let ‘Net Shoppers Grab Free Goods

The Fourth of July meant freedom from paying for goods at some online sites, where botched coupon deals let shoppers waltz out with free or nearly free deals.<@SM><@SM><TAB>During the last several weeks, computer glitches and pricing errors hit Buy.com Inc., Staples.com Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.-backed crafts retailer eZiba.com Inc. Watchful Net bargain hunters who trade tips on special message boards soon swooped in to load up on the steeply discounted or free goods. A malfunction at CMGI Inc.’s Web portal AltaVista Co. also falsely gave customers the right to claim freebies.

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Big Tobacco’s Net Worth Not a Cap To Damages, Florida Judge Tells Jury

The judge in the landmark Florida smokers trial yesterday told the jury it could award punitive damages well beyond the $15.3 billion the nation’s five biggest tobacco companies claim is their combined net worth.<br /><br />The tobacco companies had asked Circuit Judge Robert Kaye to cap punitive damages at that figure, culled from their 1999 annual reports. They disputed the assessments by witnesses for the smokers that the industry could afford to pay as much as $157 billion.

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