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While you were sleeping: BusinessWire weekend wrap

Monday 15th September 2008

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Wall Street was mixed on Friday. Commodity companies gained with rising prices for fuel and metals. Lehman Brothers fell 14%, and has slumped 94% in the past year, as the firm seeks an equity investor to help prevent collapse.

The Standard & Poor's 500 rose or 0.2% to 1,251.7. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% to 11,421.99, after American International Group Inc. tumbled 31% amid liquidity concerns. Valero Energy Corp., one of the biggest US refiners rose more than 6% as Hurricane Ike loomed toward Texas.

European stocks gained, led by banks and commodity companies. Barclays Plc rose 10%. BHP Billiton rose about 5%. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index rose 3% to 280.41

Crude oil fell to a six-month low in New York on speculation refineries in the Gulf of Mexico will escape the worst of Hurricane Ike. Crude oil for October delivery fell 2.2% to $99 a barrel on the Nymex.

Talks to sell Lehman Brothers stumbled yesterday, prompting banks to allow an emergency trading session on Sunday to allow positions in the firm to be unwound. Barclays Plc pulled out of the bidding, as top bankers and regulators met for a third day to try to resolve the crisis, Reuters reported. The British bank withdrew because the US government wouldn't provide financial guarantees, the newswire said.

A trading session on Sunday afternoon allowed dealers in the derivatives market to reduce their exposure to a potential bankruptcy by Lehman Brothers.

Bank of America Corp and Merrill Lynch & Co are in merger talks, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. The talks were sparked by the prospects of the liquidation of Lehman Brothers, the Journal said.

European government bonds fell as demand for debt as a haven from stocks waned. The 10-year German bund fell, pushing the yield up three basis points to 4.12%.

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